Everything I Know About Love finally starts tonight – and it’s just as nostalgic as the book
If you’re one of the half a million people who bought Dolly Alderton’s 2018 memoir Everything I Know About Love, you’ll be fizzing with anticipation for the release of the author’s seven-part BBC drama that’s inspired by the book – right on time to cure your post-bank holiday blues. Emma Appleton plays Maggie (based on Alderton), an Afghan coat-wearing romantic with strong main character energy who struggles when her childhood best friend Birdy (Bel Powley) falls in love for the first time. The pair also live with Nell (Marli Sui) and Amara (Aliyah Odoffi) and the friends’ lives are a rollercoaster of career woes, dance routines to 5ive, Tinder sex sprees and painful dinner parties.
“Set around 2012, the first four episodes made me laugh out loud and feel deeply nostalgic for late nights out in Camden with my pals, getting involved with unsuitable men and even grotty house shares,” says Stylist’s entertainment director Helen Bownass. “It also forced me to recall some uncomfortable moments when I’ve put pressure on a friendship when I felt left behind. The series is a mostly joyful exploration of what it is to be a young woman finding her place in the world and a celebration of friendship – I’m excited to binge the rest.” 10:40pm tonight, BBC One
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This debut novel is a searing portrayal of society’s treatment of young Black women
It’s not every day that a 17-year-old writes a novel. Especially one that’s set to be one of the biggest literary debuts of the year, and has already been sold into eight languages. But not everyone is Leila Mottley, the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate who’s also had work published in the New York Times. The now-19-year-old’s novel Nightcrawling (Bloomsbury) is a blistering exploration of power told through the eyes of 17-year-old sex worker Kiara, and is based on a true 2015 story of corruption and sexual abuse within California’s Oakland police department. With her father dead, her mother in jail and her older brother off in pursuit of an unlikely dream as a rapper, Kiara is as alone as it’s possible for a teenage girl to be, living in an apartment block where the rent is about to double. She must head onto the streets of Oakland to survive, but she’s soon picked up by a group of police officers who, rather than offer her protection, choose to exploit her for months on end.
“This book moved me, angered me and – at regular intervals – made me intensely jealous,” says Stylist’s features editor Meena Alexander. “The fact that Mottley wrote this at 17 – an incredibly wise and nuanced novel which unpacks the many ways that young Black women are forced to grow up too fast – is proof of her envy-inducing talent. But mostly it made me excited to find out what the rest of her career will hold. I think we’re witnessing the making of a literary star, and this debut deserves every rave it gets.” £16.98; Bookshop.org
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