The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta is perhaps not a book that you would necessarily put in the self-development section of the bookshop, but I feel that this unique story would be very healing to someone who is currently exploring their identity or has been on a journey to find themselves in the past.
What a joy to read this book was. It was deep, and yet simple to access, which is great as my attention span is not always the best. The short sections in different formats also made it easy for me to sink back into the story, no matter where I had left off.
The voice of the author comes across in a very warm and genuine way as you follow this journey of self-discovery. I’m not 100% sure where the protagonist ends and the author begins, but it feels very autobiographical and I think his life and emotion are what gives the character so much warmth and depth.
Although teenage years and early 20s are a time in life when all young people are seeking to define their identity, his challenge is made greater by having parents from different cultures, being mixed-race in Britain and being gay and what that means for fitting in with different communities. If you have ever felt like a square peg in a round hole, or simply that you do not know who “your people” are, I think you will be comforted by reading this lovely coming of age story.
You can buy a copy from Amazon UK (or US), Waterstones, Foyles, The Book Depository (these are all affiliate links, just so you know) or other retailers and don’t forget to let me know what you think!
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