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The Misfits A Personal Manifesto by Michaela Coel @EburyPublishing @MichaelaCoel #TheMisfits #TheClqrt #Michaela Coel #BookReview #BookBlog #NonFictionReads

Ebury Books September 2021

Book Description

From the brilliant mind of the creator and star of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum comes a passionate declaration against fitting it.

Michaela Coel’s MacTaggart Lecture touched a lot of people with her striking revelations about race, class and gender. But in the end, the person most impacted was Coel herself. Building on this speech, Misfits immerses readers in her deeply personal vision through powerful allegory and anecdotes – from her East London upbringing to her discovery of theatre and love for storytelling.

With inspiring insight and wit, she tells of her reckoning with trauma and metamorphosis into a champion for herself, inclusivity and radical honesty, and in telling her journey invites us to reflect on our own. By embracing our differences, she says, we can transform our lives. An artist to her core, Coel holds up the path of the creative as an emblem of our need to regard one another with care and respect – and transparency.

Misfits is a triumphant call for honesty, empathy and inclusion. This timely, necessary book is a rousing coming-to-power manifesto dedicated to anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

My Thoughts

Thank you so much to the publisher for reaching out and offering me a finished copy of this striking little book, beautiful to look at and an impressive read. Shamefully I am not familiar with Michaela Coel. I debated whether to share this here, is it relevant? I don’t know but I felt I should know more about this inspiring woman having now read her personal manifesto.

Readable in one sitting this book was enlightening to me, growing up in East London one of the few black families in her neighbourhood Michaela was always different, in terms of her skin colour, her class and while not a minority in terms of gender definitely unequal. Brave and inspiring in the face of this her manifesto acknowledges disadvantage but is definitely a call to arms, written in a positive and empowering way. Finding her place and indeed her strength among other ‘misfits’ carried her through but her searing honesty resonated with me, blunt observations – the ladder we all climb – to better ourselves? the profit ladder desperately pursued by many, but for those with no means of getting more – they get arrested – this comment led to the observation about disproportionate representation of ethnic minorities in the prison population. I knew this but somehow this statement made me think differently about those who have opportunities, from day one and those who do not.

The book is riddled with examples such as the one shared above and I found it to be thought provoking, sharp and highly relevant. On top of all of that is was highly readable and entertaining. Michaela is an actor and director, she has lived on the margins and experienced attempts to ‘mainstream her’ whilst also noting the edge she is speaking from holds her appeal. Her account is balanced and fair and I think this adds to the power of her words, some of her experiences are hard to read about and some are shocking, however overwhelmingly she is an inspiring woman who is travelling her own path and I think paving the way for more misfits to follow in her footsteps. At least I hope she is.

Thank you again to the publisher for this gifted copy. Check out my Instagram to see how pretty this short book is, a perfect stocking filler I would suggest, for all of your friends!

About the Author

Michaela Coel is the creator of the hit TV shows Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You. She is a BAFTA, Royal Television Society. Broadcasting Press Guild and NAACP prize-winning actor, screenwriter and director. In 2020, she was included in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people and British Vogue’s list of most influential women. Misfits is her first book.

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