Submitted on Tuesday, 2/7/2023, at 1:16 PM

Electric Literature – Nkrumah, whose debut novel, Wade in the Water, was published by HarperCollins in January, points readers toward “diverse fiction novels that tackle the impact of racial and class injustice, told from a female perspective.”

Nkrumah’s recommendations include The Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi; Libertie, by Kaitlyn Greenidge; Yellow Wife, by Sadeqa Johnson; The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich; The Secrets Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar; Memphis, by Tara M. Stringfellow; and The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd. 

In addition to describing each of these books, Nkrumah writes about her own: “Set in 1980s Mississippi, my novel, Wade in the Water, examines the generational legacy of racism in two different families, one black and one white, within the story of an unlikely friendship that develops between a mistreated and precocious eleven-year-old girl, Ella, and Katherine St. James, a mysterious white graduate research student from Princeton.”

Born in Boston and raised in Ghana and Zimbabwe, Nkrumah majored in biology and Black studies at Amherst and went on to earn a master’s degree at the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from Cornell.