28 Jan 2022

Book review: Best of Unity Books 2021: Tilly Lloyd

From Nine To Noon, 10:35 am on 28 January 2022
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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Tilly Lloyd of Unity Books tells us about her favourites from last year - "three marvels of non-fiction".

  • Listen to more of Tilly's RNZ book reviews here

Manifesto by Bernadine Evaristo

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 Bernadine Evaristo Photo: supplied

It was a revolutionary moment in literary history when Bernadette Evaristo won the 2019 Booker Prize for her novel Girl, Woman, Other.

Evaristo was a struggling thespian 30 years ago when she first set herself the goal, Tilly says.

The subtitle of her memoir - 'On Never Giving Up' - encapsulates Evaristo's spirit.

"She speaks directly and frankly about creative rebellion and her lifetime commitment to imaginatively exploring all the untold stories which are buried by race, class and sexual politics."

Listen - Bernardine Evaristo on her memoir Manifesto 

Listen - Tilly Lloyd reviews Girl, Woman, Other

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer Photo: Supplied

In this surprise bestseller, botanist and nature writer Robin Wall Kimmerer refers to animals as "our oldest teachers" and trees as "standing people".

Kimmerer hopes the Covid-19 pandemic will increase our compassion for the natural world, Tilly says.

"She's looking mostly at our relationship with nature and how it's been confounded by science... and also by capitalism and imperialism."

ListenKennedy Warne on one of his favourite books of 2021: Braiding Sweetgrass


Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings edited by Sue Cramer

A detail from the 1907 painting 'Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 3, Youth' by Hilma af Klint

 A detail from the 1907 painting 'Group IV, The Ten Largest, No. 3, Youth' by Hilma af Klint Photo: Photograph by Albin Dahlström; courtesy the Moderna Museet, Stockholm

This book of 110 reprinted artworks and "five extraordinary essays" was published in association with a major survey of abstract paintings by visionary Swedish-born artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944).

It's a very sumptuous book that rewards slow reading, Tilly says.

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