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Bookreporter Talks To

Sep 16, 2021

Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström joins Carol Fitzgerald to talk about her debut novel, In Every Mirror She's Black. Lolá was born in Nigeria and lived in the States for a long time before moving to Sweden. She is an award winning author, speaker, and photographer who has traveled the globe for her work.

In Every Mirror She's Black is told through the perspectives of three women. Kemi Adeyemi, is a marketing executive living in the United States, who is hired by a major Sweden marketing company to help them with their diversity efforts with branding. The company is recovering from a brutal faux paux. Brittany-Rae Johnson is a former model now working as a flight attendant, and she is charmed by the owner of the Swedish marketing company. The third woman, Muna Saheed, is a refugee seeking residency in Sweden. She works at a cleaning company and one of their clients is the forestated marketing company. Each of the women is black, and that is what people see first. But from there, each is perceived differently according to her station in life.

Lolá talks to Carol about the ways in which Swedish racism differs from the racism commonly discussed in America. She explains how she decided to use her characters to show this through their actions and reactions in ways that are both believable and realistic. They discuss some of the challenges Sweden still has left to overcome, and what we can all take away from them. This is the kind of book that can spur a terrific book club discussion.

Books discussed in this episode:

In Every Mirror She's Black by Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström

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Photography Credit: Greg Fitzgerald