Reading Guide for In Every Mirror She's Black by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

In Every Mirror She's Black

A Novel

by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

In Every Mirror She's Black by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom X
In Every Mirror She's Black by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom
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Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. We see three very different Black women in this novel. How do you think each of their backgrounds informed the choices they made?
  2. The themes of tokenism and fetishization are prominent in this book. Discuss how they each played out with the women and what impact that had on them in the book.
  3. There are many comparisons between Swedish and American societies. What did you find different about how the two countries handled issues of racism and sexism? Was there something about the setting in Stockholm that changed your perspective about the social issues tackled in this book?
  4. Kemi seems to make a spur-of- the- moment choice to move to Sweden. Why do you think she did this? How did her sister's opinion factor into her decision?
  5. Jonny's infatuation with Brittany borders on unhealthy, and yet there is a part of her that is drawn to him in the beginning. What about him do you think she found appealing? How did her past relationships factor in?
  6. At Brittany's birthday party, Kemi awkwardly stumbles during their conversation and insults Brittany. Why do you think the author chose not to have these two Black women become friends?
  7. Muna experiences a tremendous amount of loss in the novel. What do her experiences show of the struggles refugees go through when displaced from their homes?
  8. Kemi's relationship with Ragnar is unhealthy almost from the start. What does her final interaction with him show about her own growth and what she's learned about herself in Sweden?
  9. Throughout the novel, Muna develops many short-lived relationships, with the longest being her uncomfortable acquaintance with Yagiz. Why do you think these relationships are transient, and what do you think the author is trying to convey in her relationship with Yagiz?
  10. Jonny's privilege and the protection his money affords him ultimately become problematic for Brittany and her child. What do you think the author was trying to say about wealth, choice, and accountability at the end of Brittany's story?
  11. Kemi, Brittany, and Muna only have one small interaction with all three of them on the page together. Why do you think the author chose for them not to interact more?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Sourcebooks. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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