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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

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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



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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Free sample

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


??un was used to being looked at. In awe, lasciviously, curiously. Instinctively, she knew when eyes were drawing across her, trying to figure out what they could from her figure. Chin slightly raised, arms and legs lean and athletic, and wide hips that swayed and exuded a femininity so innate it refused to be contained; to some it was a call they felt they had to respond to, to others, a declarative statement of power, something to fear, revere. As a competitive swimmer at Ifá Academy, she had an intrinsic allure that followed her as she flew into the air before diving into the pool. Prizewinning, majestic, her limbs flew through chemicalized water as if it were the sea and she were the current itself. The energy itself. The gravity from the moon itself. She transformed the pool into a sun-dappled lake. Though she moved with incisive swiftness, she made her preternatural ability look breezy. It was casual magnificence. She pushed and pulled as if she were conjuring power from the water. Those who watched often mused that it seemed as if the water only existed to propel her.

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Why I love it

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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Member ratings (2,067)

  • Mleigha B.

    Port Jefferson, NY

    Every beautiful story was chosen so specifically each with a specific purpose. I felt myself healing through the renditions of “what if this goes right?” throughout time and culture, we all know love.

  • Daria P.

    Haddonfield, NJ

    It took me some time to get into this book, but when I did, I couldn’t put it down. I had to research the myths and tales it was based on and I learned so much. Intriguing, filled with love, wonderful

  • Eri L.

    Regina, SK

    It was a love letter to me, about my motherland - Nigeria. It spoke to be in a language I haven’t heard in a long time - Yoruba. But it also wrote about other lands I had explored but missed. I cried.

  • Ashley W.

    Brentwood, TN

    This is the fist book of short stories I have ever picked up, and honestly it’s a format I probably wont pick up again. However, I fell in love with every single one of these stories. Highly recommend

  • Laura S.

    Ozark , AL

    I love short stories! If you love short stories and romance, this is the book for you. The love stories are hot, sizzling hot. Some are sweet and shy ???? And imagine the accents from around the globe?!

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