Dialogue snaps up Ofori's debut challenging 'monolithic narrative about Black women'

Dialogue snaps up Ofori's debut challenging 'monolithic narrative about Black women'

Dialogue Books has aquired A Word from the Margins: The Intersections of Race, Gender, Class and Ambition by Lennina Ofori.  

World rights were acquired directly by Dialogue Books publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove and the book will be published in April 2022. A Word from the Margins is described by the Little,Brown imprint as "a personal journey, exploring Ofori’s Black British upbringing, her dreams and aspirations and growing up in a society which has often meant navigating systemic hurdles and invisible bumps in the road".  

“This powerful debut offers nuanced anecdotes that challenges the monolithic narrative held about Black women,” Dialogue Books said. “A Word from the Margins is an exploration of occupying the womanhood, embracing faith and navigating marginality in order to enter into experiences that are exclusionary for Black, working-class people.”  

Ofori said: “I am truly proud to add to the rich literature at Dialogue Books. I’m extremely grateful to both Hachette c.e.o. David Shelley who took the time out to truly listen to me — listening and seeking to understand — and my wonderful publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove who continues to trailblaze for Black authors.” 

Lovegrove says: ‘Discovering a unique talent and voice such as Lennina is reason enough to be a publisher. Dialogue Books aims to champion voices that have been unheard and it’s a pleasure to bring Lennina and her work from behind the margins and towards a broader audience who will have the opportunity to better understand experiences such as hers.’  

Ofori is a social entrepreneur and consultant dedicated to widening access and participation, diversity and inclusion, and equality for marginalised youths and adults.  

She studied Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and has an MA in Theatre and the criminal justice system, specialising in storytelling, the arts and mentoring to make progress. From working with National Theatre youth partnerships to undertaking research and writing verbatim pieces, her plays have toured schools, statutory agencies and theatres. And they have also been used as education, prevention and intervention methodologies.  

A visiting lecturer in Applied Social Sciences, Ofori is also undertaking a PhD in Children and Young People Services with a focus on storytelling for change. She is m.d. and co-owner of a supported housing company providing semi-independent provisions for young people leaving care.