The best books by writers of colour

Ravinder Randhawa Author Of The Coral Strand
By Ravinder Randhawa

The Books I Picked & Why

Brown Girl Like Me: The Essential Guidebook and Manifesto for South Asian Girls and Women

By Jaspreet Kaur

Book cover of Brown Girl Like Me: The Essential Guidebook and Manifesto for South Asian Girls and Women

Why this book?

Infused with passion and empathy, this book has much to offer. Tackling topics that are taboo or misunderstood; from mental health to menstruation, love and relationships, to micro-aggressions. The writer talks honestly about her own experiences and signposts solutions that have helped her, including other women’s insights, research, and information. Lively, positive, and life-affirming, this book will speak to many.


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Caste

By Isabel Wilkerson

Book cover of Caste

Why this book?

Masterful, profoundly humane, and impeccably researched. Wilkerson creates a light-bulb moment, by taking the Indian caste system and overlaying it onto the generational subjugation of Black Americans. This book doesn’t preach – it presents: gripping our hearts with real-life stories; haunting us with the unjust laws and social practices which have ensured inequality and poverty, no matter how hard black Americans worked. A poisonous system weakening and dividing the nation. Caste profoundly changes our personal understanding of American racism. 


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The Return of Faraz Ali

By Aamina Ahmad

Book cover of The Return of Faraz Ali

Why this book?

A brilliant novel with more than one mystery at its heart, with more than one truth about human emotions. Beautifully written, unflinching in its depiction of corruption and cruelty; lyrical in its evocation of loss and longing, love and survival. Faraz Ali, a young Pakistani police officer is sent to Shahi Mohalla, the red-light district of Lahore, where a girl has been murdered: not to solve the crime, but to cover it up. However, Faraz Ali has his own tormented history with the Mohalla. And, unknown to him his dimly remembered sister, the beautiful and fiery Rozina, is facing the stark prospect of her own return. A fantastic read, the characters staying in the mind long after the book has been closed.


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1984 India’s Guilty Secret

By Pav Singh

Book cover of 1984 India’s Guilty Secret

Why this book?

Some events are burned into the collective psyche. In 1984 in India, the world’s largest democracy, over 8,000 people were murdered in a four-day genocidal massacre, orchestrated by the government. This book is written in a measured tone, evidenced, and filled with witness accounts. The background is explained, the events are charted, and those who gave help and shelter are included. Over the decades, few of the guilty have been brought to account. The book becomes a drumbeat for justice. 


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The Prosecutor

By Nazir Afzal

Book cover of The Prosecutor

Why this book?

We’ve all seen those movies about courtroom battles and a determined prosecutor, speaking up for innocent victims. In Nazir Afzal we have the real deal. Coming from a working-class, migrant family, he knows what it’s like for the powerless. As Chief Prosecutor he won milestone cases involving criminals, honour killings, domestic violence, human trafficking, and many others. This engrossing book takes us behind the scenes. Nazir Afzal is recognised as a man who changed British justice for the better. 


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