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Jendella Benson Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Hope and Glory (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Book of Birmingham(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jendella Benson
Jendella Benson is a British-Nigerian editor and writer from Birmingham, based in London.

She is Head of Editorial at Black Balled, the award-winning digital media platform and online community for black women in the UK and beyond. In her role, she has commissioned and edited hundreds of black women and non-binary journalists and writers from all over the world and worked with brands like Google, Dove, and Comic Relief.

The first thing that she ever wanted to be was an author. She wanted to beat the world record, since she’s Nigerian, and 13 years old was the youngest somebody had been published in the UK. She was just in Year 2, and she said she’d beat that. It didn’t happen for her because she did not finish, however what did she even know about writing a book? Nothing at all. So she tried it, failed, and continued attempting to write books up until she got to secondary school before switching to want to become a journalist. Then she wanted to be a graphic designer, and then wanted to be a photographer. It all sort of looped back around when she wrote something for Black Balled.

Back when Black Balled was just a free blog, she was writing bits and pieces and a book editor approached her after they read something she had written and asked her if she’d ever considered writing a book. That is when she started working on the book that eventually became “Hope & Glory”, her debut novel.

However she believes that she has always been writing. It is like a compulsion for her and it would annoy her since she studied art, and whenever she’d go on trips to galleries and they’d have to write something about the art they saw, her art teachers in college would encourage her to study English at university instead. Her response was always that she was an artist, and they should just let her be an artist. So it’s pretty funny how she now embraces this calling. It is clearly a compulsion for her. She can’t not write, if that makes sense.

“Hope & Glory” all started with Glory, because when she began writing the book, she was very much where Glory was in her life. She was kinda going through a quarter life crisis where you wonder what you’re even doing with your life, and asking yourself a bunch of questions.

Jendella began her writing career as a columnist for Media Diversified, Christian Today, MTV UK, and has written since for The Sunday Times STYLE Magazine, The Independent, and The Telegraph.

Jendella has a background in filmmaking and photography and her visual work has been featured on BuzzFeed, in the Guardian, and been exhibited internationally, most notably at the House of Commons, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, and at the International Center of Photography in New York as part of ICP Projected in May of 2018.

She is a TEDx speaker, delivering a memorable talk about reclaiming stories that define us, and has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, and has spoken at various conferences and universities. Jendella has also lead creative writing workshops for adults and teens, guest lectured at universities, and been a keynote speaker at conferences. She’s an engaging and experienced public speaker that is known for her warm delivery and chairing insightful and in-depth conversations with actors, authors, scientists, and academics which encourage the audience to think more critically about the world that exists around them.

“Hope and Glory” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2022. A heartfelt family drama.

Glory Akindele returns to London from her apparently glamorous life in Los Angeles to mourn her dad’s sudden death, just to find that her previously close family has fallen apart during her absence. Victor (her brother) is currently in jail isn’t speaking to her since she did not come back home for his trial. Faith (her older sister) was once a busy career woman, and seems to have lost all of her ambition and independence, and is instead channeling her energies into holding a perfect suburban family together. Worst of all, Celeste (their mom), is headed for a breakdown after her husband’s death and the shame of her son’s being incarcerated.

Instead of going back to America, Glory decides to stick around and attempt to bring them all together again. It is a tall order given that Glory’s life is not quite working out according to plan either, and she is acutely aware of the fact that she is not all that sure who she is and what she wants.

She has a chance reunion with a guy that she knew back in her teens, named Julian (elusive yet perceptive), gives her the courage to begin questioning why her obsessively private yet respectable Nigerian immigrant family is the way it is. However Glory’s questioning unearths this massive secret which shatters the family’s fragile peace, and she risks losing everybody that she deeply cares about in her pursuit of the truth as well as a reunited family.

“All That We’ve Got” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2024. Mimi is a young single mom that is looking to break free from her mom’s judgments and her church’s hypocritical and oppressive gossip in order to establish who she really is on her own. However a dangerous new romance could lead her into some trouble.

Meanwhile, Abi (fifteen years old) dreams about emulating the life that she sees through her social media and helping her mom out with the bills. When she gets offered the chance of making money quickly by helping this group of local boys, she and her friends all jump at this chance. However they are soon crossing county lines, and Abi discovers that she is in over her head.

Could Abi and Mimi possibly forge a bond which could free the both of them, at the heart of this community that they have taken for granted?

This is a powerful commentary on the city that we do not always see, in a stunning new novel from Jendella Benson.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jendella Benson

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