2022 is almost over. Before we pull the curtain on the year, check out our top ten most popular nonfiction.
The Slipping Away | Chinonso Nzeh
“I like to think that the reason my parents pampered me was a price for this present troubling reality. They were gentler with me. When I was younger, my siblings often told me that my parents, especially my father, would whip them with a cane over the slightest negligence. But this father never laid his hands on me.”
New nonfiction from Chinonso Nzeh.
I’ll Try to Love Again | Ann-Marie Nicholson
“To say I had an intense fear of abandonment is an understatement. Child psychologists argue that when a parent relinquishes supervision of her child full time, whether to attend daycare or school, that the child experiences “separation anxiety.” There was no clinical terminology for my experience.”
New nonfiction from Ann-Marie Nicholson.
Words: On the Linguistic Indoctrination of a Woman | Cindy DiTiberio
“I know that to attract male attention I should be sexy, but there are boundaries to that appeal, stray too far down that path and you become a slut. Women’s empowerment teaches me to be bold, but in the workplace, I sense they do not like my bossiness, that I should temper my ambition to something more suitable for a young woman.”
New nonfiction from Cindy DiTiberio.
Fall / Between Words | Kharys Laue
“When I was two years old, I fell through my father’s hands and fractured my skull against a parquet floor. The injury to my head was the worst of a catalogue of injuries I suffered as a child. Later, throughout my girlhood and teens, I would retell this story. My dad dropped me on my head when I was a baby. And I was proud of this story. I wanted to give, and this tale of a father and a baby and a broken head was the best offering I had.”
New nonfiction from Kharys Laue.
Russian Doll | Mustapha Enesi
“For a short while during the year I was fifteen and had just moved into my mother’s house, our home felt incomplete. I thought it was because everything was new, and it was not easy getting used to new spaces. But it felt incomplete not because the house wasn’t completely finished (only the sitting room floors were tiled; the rooms had no doors but curtains; only the interior walls were painted; the roofing sheets were not aluminum), but because my father refused to move in with us.”
New nonfiction from Mustapha Enesi.
Short Essay on Music | Adedayo Agarau
“Redemption is for the lost, the prodigal, the hopeless. But being lost is a state, a place, a city. And so is redemption. As a result of Theon’s torture by Ramsay Bolton, he found the essence of family and rediscovered the idea of home. The script redeemed him when he freed Sansa from Ramsay’s grasp and ultimately lost his life to protect Bran in the Battle of Winterfell. I cried at that point. To be very honest, I do not care about Theon, but I find grace in rediscovery. How my father slowly walked himself back into our lives, that is. He never left, but he wasn’t home. And my mom?”
New nonfiction from Adedayo Agarau.
The Green Passport | Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto
“I noticed then that I was the only Nigerian, the only black, travelling to Italy from Turkey. My answers didn’t convince them. They spoke their language, they pored through my visa and the data page. They flitted glances from my face to the picture on the passport, they made phone calls. The other passengers eyed me with suspicion. I felt like a blemish on a white sheet.”
New nonfiction from Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto.
To Be Known Is To Be Loved | Yvonne Wangithi
“I sit with my therapist as she urges me to take the longer, but ultimately more fulfilling route. She urges me to allow myself to heal. To break free from living under the rules of war, for I am safe. She promises me I will not walk alone. She sees the tears, the effort and the different choices. She says she is proud of me.”
New nonfiction from Yvonne Wangithi.
To All the Girls I’ve Loved: Ejima Baker-Morales
“I looked up and I realized I no longer knew who you loved, where you lived, how you spent those few precious moments between work and real life. How could I have lost you? The woman with whom I once spent nights spinning stories like gold, dancing until the sun burned slowly through the morning fog, ordering two desserts so we could share both. Fuck people who share one dessert; they, we concluded, were savages.”
New nonfiction from Ejima Baker-Morales.
Sense of Touch | Nora Nneka
“Postpartum care in my culture is called “omugwo”. The matriarchs of the family and/or close female friends come to care for the tired mother and new baby. This care includes feeding the mother spicy pepper soup, tidying the home, tending to the baby while the new mother gets some much-needed rest, and massaging mother and baby to help them both recover from the delivery itself. My mom and sister were able to come the morning after Theory was born and I was grateful to have the women most important to me there for this pivotal moment in my life.”
“Sense of Touch” won the inaugural Isele Nonfiction Prize.