Narrator Mathilda, who is black, working class and queer, is transfixed by the Bohemian socialites of the 1920s, who she’s emulated for much of her life. Later, Mathilda encounters a photograph of black poet Hermia Druitt, drawing her to the European town of Dun where Druitt once lived in the 30s in a bid to learn more about the forgotten figure. Set amid an artist residency, this arresting debut effortlessly explores infatuation, reinvention, the erasure of black figures from history and gender identities in what marks Von Reinhold as a unique new voice in literary fiction. LOTE is part of publisher Jacaranda’s campaign Twenty in 2020, the first initiative of its kind by a UK publisher to publish 20 black British writers in a single year.
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