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Candice Carty-Williams Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

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It's Not OK to Feel Blue [and other lies](2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gifts of Reading(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Candice Carty-Williams

Candice Williams is a British author of literary fiction books. She’s also a journalist and a book marketer based in London. She is the child of a Jamaican taxi driver and a receptionist. In Sussex, Candice studied Media to prove her sixth form teachers who said that she wasn’t good enough to do English wrong.
The author has worked on marketing non-fiction, literary fiction, and graphic novels. In 2016 Candice launched Guardian and 4th Estate Prize, an award targeted for Asian, Black, and ethnic writers. She is a regular contributor to I-D and Refinery29.


This is the first book by Candice Williams. It introduces us to a 25-year-old British woman Queenie Jenkins living in London bestriding two cultures and sliding neatly into neither. Queenie works at a newspaper firm where she is regularly forced to compare herself with the whites in the middles class. But after a quite mess breakup from her white lover, she seeks comfort in all sorts of places including with deadly men who do an excellent work of occupying brain space.

As Queenie rushes from one hasty decision to another, she finds herself surrounded by all the sort of questions a modern woman must face. Candice’s debut novel is a remarkable exploration of what it means to be a woman in the 21st century.

The novel popped up in Spring 2019 Best Reads Lists. Everything about the book is nice, from the cover design to the main character, Queenie who is quite refreshing and also unique from other female protagonists you’ve ever read.

Just like Oyinkan Braithwaite’s novel, My Sister, The Serial Killer, Queenie also features a strong woman of African descent. The two novels are written in a relatable way, and if you enjoy one, you’ll want to read the other as the author’s transports the readers to the world of the story. The heroines in these two books are dealing with life, building their career and trying to find love in a world where they’re viewed as the minority, facing problems related to racial divides and all the obstacles of racial discrimination.

Candice Williams spent her childhood in South London, and couldn’t think of setting her book anywhere else. Her main character, Queenie spent her childhood in Brixton, an area initially dominated by Jamaican immigrants but through gentrification and the rising prices, has transformed a lot over the past two decades. Below are some of the strongest elements in Candice William’s novel Queenie.

There is a discussion of the black woman trope. The main character is trying to keep it together for her family and friends, but she soon discovers that something’s got to give. This hurts her, but therapy plays a crucial role in her life even though some of her family members don’t approve it because of the cultural rejection of this practice. Additionally, Queenie is curvy and refuses to lose weight despite her associates and family’s objections. She also loves her natural hair and discusses hair and treatment without the feeling of guilty despite society’s rejection.

There’s an aspect of good friendship circle in the story. With only an exception of one character, Queenie has friends that she can trust. The reciprocate support and love whenever she needs it. The author also addresses the element of family. Even though at times Queenie’s aunt and grandmothers can be a total nerd and say things that could make the readers cringe, they all demonstrate that despite the tough times and their behaviors, they are people she can rely on when she needs help.

William’s debut novel doesn’t refrain from addressing the challenges that black women encounter on a daily basis in a world where their population is the minority. From not attaining respect at their workplaces to being seen as sex objects, the author explores these notions with openness, fluidity, and respect.
The author also explores the aspect of cultural connectivity. Through her main character, she’s able to answer a question such as, what does it mean to be a black woman? A Jamaican and how gentrification threatens both. Queenie is a fascinating character, and her journey feels so real. Her personal growth is done in a brutally honest way. There’s no sugar coating as the author tries to expose what it feels like to be a woman, especially a black woman in the modern world.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Candice Carty-Williams

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