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Love in Color by Bolu Babalola
Short stories

Love in Color

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Bolu Babalola, on your first book!

by Bolu Babalola

Quick take

A love song for love stories! This magical, ingenious anthology shows us the ups, downs, and turnarounds of romance.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical


Why I love it

Jerrod MacFarlane
BOTM Editorial Team

For more than a year, many of us have found ourselves separated from those we hold most dear. Relationships of all kinds have been tested—some have crumbled, others have deepened. In some corners, we have even seen new ones come into being. In her introduction to Love in Color, Bolu Babalola writes, “Love is tender, tentative, brutal, and bold. It’s messy and magic!” What better testament to this reality could we have than these often agonizing past few months where nonetheless love has not only persisted but often gotten more creative, bolder (and richer for it). What a gift it is to have this book to accompany us in this beautiful mess of care, intimacy, vulnerability, and affection amidst struggle and physical separation.

Love in Color collects stories of love from across the globe and history, teasing out its many forms and expressions. Animated by a deep appreciation for love’s complexity, it reanimates these myths, legends, folktales, and dreams, bringing them into a modern idiom while letting each retain their unique cultural features and distinction. The range is breathtaking. One moment we are in the company of Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt exploring the nature of justice, the next we are following a reimagined Basutoland folktale about an everywoman’s journey of self-discovery. Riches are to be found on every page.

It is difficult work to make the past speak to the present. But here Babalola not only gives us legible history but history that sings. Here we see love’s deep relationship to agency, identity, community, and every other important facet of our lives. This book whispers to the reader: if you know what to look for, you can find love’s hand everywhere. If you have been missing the electricity of a surreptitious meeting of eyes from across a large room or the comfort of a warm embrace that seems to go on forever, this book is for you. If you are ready to give yourself over to a book brimming with passion, humor, and above all love, look no further. Your next great romance might just lie between Love in Color’s covers.

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A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart.

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.

With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.

Love in Color is a celebration of romance in all its many splendid forms.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Love in Color.

Read a sample →

Short stories
  • Neighbors and Other Stories
  • Table for Two
  • Tomb Sweeping
  • Lot
  • Fiona and Jane