What is a Radical Book?

Books that transformed our lives and imaginations...

"Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions is a radical book because it radicalized me. It altered my understanding of myself, the world around me, our society. And it forced me ask really large questions about what we can do to improve the situation." 

Bhakti Shringarpure
Co-founder, Radical Books Collective 
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"Writing saved my own life...I had a chance to share my story...to offer a parallel narrative. Our world now is divided into rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots. Its powerful when the less privileged can share their stories."
Mohamedou Ould Slahi
(Author of Guantanamo Diary and The Actual True Story of Ahmed and Zarga
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"A radical book is one which plucks me out of those comfort zones that esconce me and throws me out into the cold, exposed."
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
(Author of Kintu and A Girl is a Body of Water)



"A radical book is a book that gives you the tools, the language and the knowledge but, more importantly, the moral and political clarity that is required to understand the present through the lens of the past. One that makes sense of our world and center people's dignity and their struggle for justice. But is a book that demands you constantly argue with this world."
Suchitra Vijayan
(Executive director of The Polis Project and author of Midnight's Borders: A People's History of India)
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"...this is about the language you experience a book in. To read a book in the language of my parents, of my mother is to experience it, and the pleasure of it, the intensity."

Sean Jacobs
Founder and editor, Africa is a Country
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"So when I think about radical reading, I think about being 14 or 15 and growing up in a very conservative family and a de facto racially segregated community in Minnesota, and also a very anti-queer community. And then coming across the work of James Baldwin and how his novels in particular reflected a world I had been told to pretend didn't exist...And there have also been a number of Palestinian writers who have helped me re-see forcibly silenced histories."
Marcia Lynx Qualey
Founder Arab Lit
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"A radical book is a book that shakes you up! And turns your world upside down. Radical books create radical thinkers."
Nathalie Etoke
Scholar and author of Shades of Black 
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