Publisher: Stripes Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: eARC/finished copy
Add to Goodreads shelf | Buy from Amazon | Buy from Waterstones | Buy from Wordery
Featuring top Young Adult authors alongside a host of exciting new talent, this anthology of stories and poetry from BAME writers on the theme of change is a long-overdue addition to the YA scene. Contributors include Tanya Byrne, Inua Ellams, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, Ayisha Malik, Irfan Master, Musa Okwonga and Nikesh Shukla.
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME is a collection of stories written by a number of known authors and fresh voices. With a focus on ‘change’ as a central theme, the stories in this collection explore numerous aspects of life: race, sexuality, losing a loved one, strained friendships. (I’d just like to begin by thanking Stripes for an early NetGalley eARC of this anthology and for the chance to participate in this wonderful blog tour).
The stories were all captivating and I found myself unable to put my Kindle down. For once, I was grateful that I was an hour early for an interview because it meant I could sit in a nearby cafe and continue reading. Some of the authors I was more familiar with like Ayisha Malik, author of ‘Sofia Khan is Not Obliged’, which this year joined my list of favourite books. And Nikesh Shukla, who edited and contributed to the amazing ‘The Good Immigrant’. But this anthology also includes stories from four new fantastic voices: Aisha Bushby, Phoebe Roy, Mary Bello and Yasmin Rahman.
As an anthology with a collection of different and distinct voices, there were some stories I enjoyed and connected to more than others. Nikesh Shukla’s ‘We Who?‘ explored how it feels to be so close to someone and know them forever, only to find out that they’re inherently racist. With Brexit and the rising hate crimes in the UK, this read couldn’t be more timely or relatable. I actually shared my reading experience of this story on my Instagram story and the response was unexpectedly wonderful. Ayisha Malik’s ‘The Refuge’ was another favourite, and one of the stories that made me cry in public. A story of friendship set in a refugee camp, it was breathtaking in its honesty and authenticity, with a bittersweet ending that left me both heartbroken and hopeful. And I cannot forget Yasmin Rahman’s ‘Fortune Favours the Bold’ which explores Islamophobia which, as a young Muslim woman living in a Western society, I connected with on countless points.
Overall, A CHANGE IS GONNA COME is a wonderful and eye-opening anthology with a number of talented voices, old and new, sharing stories that are both diverse and genuine. This anthology presents an authentic portrayal of the issues faced by marginalised groups in current society, while also exploring and emphasising the importance of individual experiences. This anthology couldn’t be more timely, and just a bloody amazing collection of stories.