Alice O’Keeffe, Books Editor at The Bookseller, said: “Our shortlists this year took the judges from Georgian London to the Second World War to contemporary New York. There are books from exciting fresh voices at the very start of their career, contrasted with books from with well-established brand authors at the top of their game. These are the books that sum up 2018 but which, we think, will be read for years to come.”
Slay in Your Lane demonstrates how effective subtle forms of hostility can be. Neglect is one form, and it may occur as early as primary school, where “low achievement among some black students is made worse because their teachers don’t actually expect them to succeed”, and so are less encouraging. Low self-esteem generally follows. The effects of unequal treatment manifest themselves in adulthood, the authors say, with the counter-balancing stereotype of the “strong black woman”, a fiercely independent and resourceful individual. The point is, such resourcefulness would not be required were institutions unbiased from the start. Adegoke and Uviebinené cite research into unconscious bias carried out by the psychologist Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, at Columbia University, to illustrate how black women are disproportionately overlooked for leadership positions.