Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Seven novels about women on a journey to figure out who they are

Phoebe McIntosh is an actress and playwright from London. She wrote and performed in a sell-out run of her first play, The Tea Diaries, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, followed by her solo show, Dominoes, which toured the South East and London. She completed the Soho Theatre Writers’ Lab program, and her most recent full-length play, The Soon Life, was shortlisted and highly commended for the Tony Craze Award as well as being longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. McIntosh won a place on the inaugural Tamasha x Hachette creative writing program and was selected for Penguin’s WriteNow program.

Dominoes is her debut novel.

At Electric Lit McIntosh tagged seven novels "about women who, at any one time, have had their doubts about who they are and who they present themselves to the world as." One title on the list:
Assembly by Natasha Brown

There’s a lot to be said for the slimline novel, and this one, with its meticulously crafted prose should be your first port of call if you’re seeking to learn more about the continued effect of colonialism on the modern world and, in particular on the lives of people of color. A nameless Black woman who seems to have it all — the cushy career, the big bonuses, a serious relationship with man from an old-money white family — tells us through a sequence of vignettes why a life blighted by racism at every turn is not much of a life at all. In fact, it is impossible not to feel her utter exhaustion at simply having to exist in such a world. The poignancy with which she reflects on her experiences and the conclusions she draws on her future given all that she has already suffered, makes the choice she is faced with about her health all the more hard hitting and, sadly, justifiable. A breathless, read in one-sitting corker of a debut.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue