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Ukamaka Olisakwe (Author)
Tracy Haught (Author)

Best of Isele Anthology

Best of Isele Anthology

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Iskanchi Press
5.5 X 8.5 in
265 pg

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From short stories about the dark and the light, and how we loved then and now, to poems en route the world gathering notes of those in search of beginnings and those at their ends, and essays exploring the lost and the found, grief, being— the works in this anthology are unexpected and defiant of conventions. In myriad genres and styles and with the mere power and beauty of their words, the writers in this collection hold a prism to humanity, opening minds to new ways of seeing, of knowing.

Ukamaka Olisakwe Tracy Haught
Author Bio

Review text

“Each piece is like having an orange. Some are sweeter while some have a tang that makes your jaw clench. The writing I’ve read gave me a mix of these feelings but in the end, you went in for another bite.”

-Julia Falcone, NetGalley review

“All of the writers in this anthology are gifted with the ability to lead the readers through their stories in a way that transports them into the worlds of their characters or themselves.”

-Kimbriah, NetGalley review

“I found most of the contributions excellent, across all the represented genres, making this, for me, an above-average collection. There is a wonderful diversity of voices and story, and everything in here, even the pieces I did not enjoy, is worth reading…Isele’s stated mission, according to their website, is to publish writers and artists who hold a mirror to … society, who challenge conventional expectations about ways of being, how to be, and who decides who should be. In this, this excellent compilation succeeds.”

-Jacqueline Nyathi, blogger, ShonaReads

“This is the kind of anthology you can read cover to cover in a couple of sittings, so well do the pieces flow into one another, each long enough to be satisfactory in their own right but short enough to leave you wanting more. Equally, you could savour the book over a couple of weeks letting each story, poem or essay marinate before moving on to the next.”

— Rachel Matthews, Goodreads review

“A poignant anthology of varied works. Some cover topics that are controversial while others are not. All are thought provoking. It should be featured in English classes and courses everywhere.”

— Kel Mo, Educator

“This is a solid collection of stories from the African literary magazine Isele. While not all of the stories grabbed me, I was happy to see a number of pieces about Black joy and happiness and success--too often, a (white) audience only seeks trauma from Black authors. The mix of poetry and prose was well-balanced, and there's a lot here that can and should be taught in high school and college classrooms.”

— Kendra Leonard