Bookshelfie: Malorie Blackman

In a special episode to mark International Women’s Day 2022, multi-award winning author, screenwriter and playwright Malorie Blackman OBE joins host Zawe Ashton to tell her why writing about black joy is so important to her.


After being discouraged from being a teacher because of the colour of her skin, Malorie went on to write over 70 children’s, YA and picture books (some of which have been adapted into hugely successful TV dramas and stage plays), and was the first black Children’s Laureate between 2013 and 2015. As she tells Zawe, the omission of black characters from the books she read as a child fueled her fire, and despite receiving over 80 rejection letters on her writing journey, she persevered. For many readers of colour, her work has allowed them to finally see themselves in literature, and her Noughts and Crosses series of six titles and three novellas are now considered one of the most substantial contributions ever to be made to young adult fiction.


Malorie’s book choices are: 

** Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 

** Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

** The Color Purple by Alice Walker

** The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison 

** The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor


Zawe Ashton, acclaimed actress, director, playwright and author, hosts this special edition of the chart-topping Women’s Prize for Fiction Podcast. The new Women’s Prize Podcast season continues to celebrate the best fiction written by women, by interviewing inspirational women about the books that have most influenced their life and career.


This podcast is sponsored by Baileys and produced by Bird Lime Media.

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