In Every Mirror She's Black: A Novel (Hardcover)

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As seen in Vulture, Essence, Good Morning America, The Independent, Goodreads, PureWow, and many more!

"A sexy, surprising, searing debut about love, loss, desire, and the many dimensions of Black womanhood."—Deesha Philyaw, 2020 National Book Award Finalist & award-winning author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

An arresting debut for anyone looking for insight into what it means to be a Black woman in the world.

Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people.

Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation's largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi's move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life.

A chance meeting with Jonny in business class en route to the U.S. propels former model-turned-flight-attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson into a life of wealth, luxury, and privilege—a life she's not sure she wants—as the object of his unhealthy obsession.

And refugee Muna Saheed, who lost her entire family, finds a job cleaning the toilets at Jonny's office as she works to establish her residency in Sweden and, more importantly, seeks connection and a place she can call home.

Told through the perspectives of each of the three women, In Every Mirror She's Black is a fast-paced, richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that touches on important social issues of racism, classism, fetishization, and tokenism, and what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white-dominated society.

Praise for In Every Mirror She's Black:

"In Every Mirror She's Black is a wise and complicated exploration of the lives of three Black women in America and Sweden. Lola Akinmade 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, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and Malibu Rising

"In Every Mirror She's Black highlights the struggles of three women fighting to assimilate into a society that ignores their worth. These characters will pull at your heartstrings. Lola writes with a contemporary flair, highlighting the layered subtleties of the Black woman's plight. In Every Mirror She's Black will stay with readers for a long time."
Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of bestselling novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy

"In her debut novel, Lola Akinmade Akerstrom has given us 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, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

About the Author


Nigerian-American and based in Sweden, Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning author, speaker, and photographer. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel, The Telegraph, New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Slate, Travel Channel, Adventure Magazine, Lonely Planet, amongst others. In addition to contributing to several books, she is the author of the following books – 2018 Lowell Thomas Award winner for best travel book, Due North and bestselling LAGOM: Swedish Secret of Living Well, available in 18 foreign language editions. She has been recognized with multiple awards for her work, including 2018 Travel Photographer of the Year Bill Muster Award, and she was honoured with a MIPAD 100 (Most Influential People of African Descent) Award within media and culture in 2018. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Image Collection. Lola is also the editor of Slow Travel Stockholm, an online magazine dedicated to exploring Sweden's capital city in depth.

Praise For…


"Three Black women in search of a better life end up in Sweden in this convincing debut...Åkerström powerfully conveys all of the women's experiences with race." — Publishers Weekly

"Åkerström paints an admirably rich portrait of a particular culture—its nuances, norms, and idiosyncrasies—raising important questions of prejudice, racial bias, agency, and belonging...A novel with thematic depth and complexity.
" — Kirkus Reviews

"As much a liberating battle cry as it is a searing, multifaceted examination of the hearts and minds of Black women navigating white-dominated spaces." — BookPage

"An engaging novel that 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." — Essence

"In Every Mirror She's Black highlights the struggles of three women fighting to assimilate into a society that ignores their worth. These characters will pull at your heartstrings. Lola writes with a contemporary flair, highlighting the layered subtleties of the Black woman's plight. In Every Mirror She's Black will stay with readers for a long time." — Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of bestselling novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy

"In Every Mirror She's Black is a wise and complicated exploration of the lives of three Black women in America and Sweden. Lola Akinmade Akerstrom 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, NYT bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six

"Beautifully complex and deftly drawn, Kemi, Brittany, and Muna are going to stay on my mind for a long, long time. In Every Mirror She's Black is a sexy, surprising, searing debut about love, loss, desire, and the many dimensions of Black womanhood. Timely and terrific!" — Deesha Philyaw, award-winning author of The Secret Life of Church Ladies

"A striking debut...As entertaining as it is revealing, Åkerström's novel has readers hoping that each of these women is able to break free from toxic expectations and achieve her every dream and ambition. Along the way, Åkerström also delivers poignant commentary on Swedish culture and the price Black women pay by virtue of the color of their skin. " — Booklist

"Through lively prose and spirited dialogue, Åkerström shows that for all the protagonists' differences, being a Black woman in a white-dominated society will inevitably lead them to the same fate." — Vulture

"In Every Mirror She's Black is an absolute must-read. From its relatable and three-dimensional characters, to its delving into racism and tokenism, to its unique and sometimes heartbreaking examination of the lives of Black women in a Nordic setting, this novel delivers an emotional punch. Kemi, Brittany, and Muna's lives come alive on the page. If you're looking for a novel that will stay with you even days after you've read the last page, then make sure you grab a copy of Lola Akinmade Åkerström's In Every Mirror She's Black. This is a very different and unpredictable portrayal of Black women's search for love and self, and it's pure magic." — Kim Golden, USA Today bestselling author

"In her debut novel, Lola Akinmade Akerstrom has given us 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, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers
Product Details
ISBN: 9781728240381
ISBN-10: 1728240387
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Pages: 416
Language: English