Cover Image: GIRL

GIRL

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Member Reviews

A really inspiring read. As a black woman, it’s rare to see such an honest collection of essays that reflect the realities of being a black woman in the modern day. The book includes essays by a number of prominent public figures, including Candice Carty-Williams (author of Queenie). 

Some of the topics covered including Black Lives Matter, racism, police brutality, the racialisation of pregnancy, music, history, slavery, beauty and the underrepresentation of Black and brown women in the workplace (notably in the fashion/entertainment industries), identity and the portrayal of black women, adolescence, and so, so much more. A truly brilliant book, I can only hope it paves the way for more women to speak up. 

I received a free copy from Netgalley.
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In the first few pages of the book we got to know Kenya, and learn about her and her insight into what it means to be Black in America. later on, it became unclear if it was just her own words or if there were essays from other writers too, but once i saw one from Candice Carty Williams i knew it was from multiple authors. I particularly enjoyed Candice’s as i am a big fan of hers. The last few pages were so emotional, poignant and moving. I keep thinking about Toyin, Ahmaud, George, Tony and now Jacob Blake. This book is so relevant and necessary for what we are going through right now. Thank you Kenya.
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First of all, thanks to NetGalley for a privilage of  reviewing the ARC. It was a pleasure and I really enjoyed it.

Kenya Hunt is a fashion director of Elle, she's a Black American woman living in London. Her book “Girl” is a bunch of essays written by her as well as other black writers.

It explains how it is to be a black woman in modern times. It's a true celebration of Black girl magic. Some of the topic talk about motherhood, the “otherness”, differences in being Black woman in States and the UK. “Girl show the system injustice and how the racism existing in the institutions such as hospitals. 

I was really happy that Candice Carty-Williams was one of the featuring authors. I loved the way she described process of writing “Queenie”.  

As I mentioned before, the book is a compilation of essays by different people. While they all talk about blackness and womanhood the whole thing lacks coherence as it jumps from one topic to another. 

Kenya's book is a really powerful and important piece in today's world. I can't recommend it enough. It's the time we stop avoiding the topic of racial prejudice.
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Girl by Kenya Hunt is a exploration of what it is to be black woman in 2020. Through various essays, Hunt examines fashion, healthcare and general social life for the black community in an increasingly visible world. It's a snap shot into one view point, and offers a unique insight into a life very different from my own, and further my own knowledge in becoming a better Antiracist. 

Most of the essays are written by Kent herself, however there are a few scattered throughout from other authors, including the rather wonderful Candice Carty-Williams. I loved her essay on how Queenie came to life and effected her day to day life moving forward from publishing such a well lived novel. I would have loved more essays from Black women from a variety of backgrounds, if only to broaden the voices and experiences that Hunt is trying to present. Although her opinions and experiences are entirely valid, I feel I could have got more out of this than what was presented. 

That said, this is an excellent piece of feminist black literature, and one I would happily read again and again, knowing I'll get something new out of the experience every time.
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'Girl' is full of heart, emotion and strength, as writer Kenya Hunt uses personal essays to explore her experience of being a black woman both in the United States and the UK, circumnavigating working in overwhelmingly white industries (namely fashion) and exploring healthcare, beauty, fashion, entertainment, pop culture, politics and more through the eyes of black women.

There's a lot to enjoy here. The topics that Hunt discusses - and other writers contribute towards - are powerful testaments to how black women are viewed and view the world, and on failings in institutional systems that disproportionately affect them. Hunt is a thoughtful and talented writer, weaving personal anecdotes and stories with in-depth research. The essays I most enjoyed were 'Sally Hemings and Hidden Figures', 'An American In London', 'The Lord's House, A Queen's Soul' and 'On Queenie' (guest written by Candice Carty-Williams). 

My central issue concerns the structure of the entire book. The majority of this book is a bit haphazard - a little disjointed in the way its put together. It might have just been the layout of the proof, which is understandable, but it seemed to be trying to veer between a memoir and an essay collection by multiple contributors. The notion of guest writers seemed to interrupt the flow of both the book and of Hunt's essays themselves.

While Candice Carty-Williams' essay about writing 'Queenie' and her process of becoming a public author versus a private writer was a real highlight, I wanted it to be part of a broader collection, rather than just an interlude to Hunt's writing. TPerhaps if there had been more contributors overall, with Hunt writing more than one essay for the collection, it would have felt more cohesive, structurally. There were times when an essay would finish and another would start - and I wouldn't even realise it. The collection is not bad, by any stretch, but I felt like this book just didn't quite know, structurally, what it wanted to be.
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Another book and other voices that are desperately needed not only for this at this current time but always. Because after the news media dies down and people have stopped thinking about the events have recently unfolded once again it is these conversations that we need to keep having. It is these conversations that will help us all shape and change the world that we live in that so desperately needs these changes. If something positive could come out of this year it would be to stop oppression in all its forms for everyone to be free to walk this earth feeling safe for their to be no prejudice, no racism, no hatred and more love, inclusion and acceptance it's what I hope and pray for every year. With keeping these conversations going, broadering our knowledge and shutting down these things when we see them happen. True change will occur
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As a British person I love reading about someone living in Britain that’s from a different country. This is about a black experience of navigating the  world in 2020. Even if the topics in the essays  weren’t new to me. The writers always had new insights for me to think about a topic. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
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