Black Panther: World of Wakanda by Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates. The world building of Wakanda continues in a love story where tenderness is matched only by brutality! You know them now as the Midnight Angels, but in this story they are just Ayo and Aneka, young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. Their first assignment will be to protect Queen Shuri… but what happens when your nation needs your hearts and minds, but you already gave them to each other? Meanwhile, former king T’Challa lies with bedfellows so dark, disgrace is inevitable. Plus, explore the true origins of the People’s mysterious leader, Zenzi. Black Panther thinks he knows who Zenzi is and how she got her powers – but he only knows part of the story! COLLECTING: BLACK PANTHER: WORLD OF WAKANDA 1-6.
Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble. A revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms Run a Google search for “black girls”–what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. If you are interested in more information, here’s a review. You might also be interested in the author’s presentation at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society at Berkeley.
The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara. A gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza made famous by the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning. Told in a voice that brims with wit, rage, tenderness, and fierce yearning, The House of Impossible Beauties is a tragic story of love, family, and the dynamism of the human spirit. You can read reviews here and here. You might also like to read this interview with the author.
Peach by Emma Glass. Something has happened to Peach. Staggering around the town streets in the aftermath of an assault, Peach feels a trickle of blood down her legs, a lingering smell of her anonymous attacker on her skin. It hurts to walk, but she manages to make her way to her home, where she stumbles into another oddly nightmarish reality: Her parents can’t seem to comprehend that anything has happened to their daughter. The next morning, Peach tries to return to the routines of her ordinary life, going to classes, spending time with her boyfriend, Green, trying to find comfort in the thought of her upcoming departure for college. And yet, as Peach struggles through the next few days, she is stalked by the memories of her unacknowledged trauma. In this astonishing debut, Emma Glass articulates the unspeakable with breathtaking verve. Intensely physical, with rhythmic, visceral prose, Peach marks the arrival of a visionary new voice. You can read reviews here and here.
The Real Life of the Parthenon by Patricia Vigderman. Ownership battles over the marbles removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin have been rumbling into invective, pleading, and counterclaims for two centuries. The emotional temperature around them is high, and steering across the vast past to safe anchor in a brilliant heritage is tricky. The stories around antiquities become distorted by the pull of ownership, and it is these stories that urge Patricia Vigderman into her own exploration of their inspiring legacy in this compelling extended essay. You can read reviews here and here.