DRUM - - Chill Out - – PAM MAGWAZA

Hi­lar­i­ous, mildly erotic and fiercely fem­i­nist – Queenie is just the book for all the black women out there try­ing to nav­i­gate their way through a world that, in most cases, wasn’t de­signed for them and rarely truly cel­e­brates them.

Queenie Jenk­ins is a 25-year-old Ja­maican-Bri­tish woman liv­ing in Lon­don, strad­dling two cul­tures and feel­ing like she doesn’t truly be­long to either. She works at a na­tional news­pa­per where she’s con­stantly forced to com­pare her­self to her white mid­dle-class peers.

Af­ter a messy break-up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks com­fort in all the wrong places and through flash­backs we get to see how truly messed up her re­la­tion­ship was. It ex­am­ines in­ter­ra­cial dat­ing and the com­pli­ca­tions that arise. South Africans will find it all com­pletely re­lat­able. It tack­les is­sues such as men­tal health, re­la­tion­ships, equal­ity in the work­place, be­long­ing, friend­ship and awk­ward sex – lots of it.

It won’t nec­es­sar­ily make it onto your list of great­est reads of all time, but it’s a feel-good read that will make you laugh, cry and look in­ward.

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