Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström

In conversation with Deesha Philyaw

Monday, September 20th, 5:30 pm Central

An acclaimed Nigerian-American author based in Sweden visits the Twin Cities Book Festival to discuss her page-turning debut novel with an award-winning storyteller!

From an exhilarating new voice in fiction comes a compelling and provocative page-turner about three Black women—a young refugee, a powerhouse marketing executive, and a former model—who are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential man in Stockholm, Sweden. In Every Mirror She’s Black (Sourcebooks Landmark) is a richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that tackles issues of racism, classism, fetishization, tokenization, and more—and it examines, with chilling precision, what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white-dominated society. Attendees will find out why Deesha Philyaw, the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Church Ladies, calls it“beautifully complex and deftly drawn . . . a sexy, surprising, searing debut about love, loss, desire, and the many dimensions of Black womanhood,” because at this special event, Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström will be in conversation with Deesha Philyaw herself. 

Free to attend, registration required. We hope to “see” you there!

A copy of the book can be purchased in advance using the button below!  Books are provided by Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis; purchasing In Every Mirror She’s Black here helps support them AND Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival—thank you!

Pick Up In Every Mirror She’s Black

PRICE: $28

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, MN (price includes sales tax)

Ship In Every Mirror She’s Black

PRICE: $32

BOOK PURCHASE plus $4 shipping to your location (U.S. only, price includes sales tax)


Presents the nuanced experiences of Black women from all walks of life. The author takes on misogynoir masterfully in this book that’s never quite what you think it is.


Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström offers a sharply written story with messy, deeply moving characters, raising brutal questions and steering clear of easy answers. A book that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

—Taylor Jenkins Reid

A story that is at once enjoyable and disturbing as it explores the painful price millions of women around the world pay for walking around with Black skin.

—Imbolo Mbue

About the Authors

Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström  is an award-winning author, speaker, and photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic TravelerThe GuardianThe New York Times, BBC, CNN, and others. In addition to contributing to several books, she is the author of the 2018 Lowell Thomas Award winner for best travel book, Due North, and the bestselling LAGOM: The Swedish Secret of Living Well, available in 18 foreign-language editions. She has been recognized with multiple awards for her work, including the 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award and a MIPAD 100 (Most Influential People of African Descent) Award within media and culture in 2018. Nigerian-American and based in Sweden, Lolá is also the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden’s capital city in depth.

photo ©Jessica Wikstrom

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and a 2020 LA Times Book Prize for First Fiction; the collection was also a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max. Deesha is also the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her work has been listed as Notable in the Best American Essays series, and her writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, Ebony and Bitch, among many other places. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and will be the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.