As the author of The List, herself, would appreciate - Yomi Adegoke, has won plaudits as a columnist for British Vogue, The Guardian, and many other publications, and as one half of the groundbreaking Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, alongside Elizabeth Uviebinené. Named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30, and as one of the most influential people in London by the Evening Standard, Adegoke has already established herself as one of publishing’s brightest talents - and as Adegoke gestures towards, The List has the same shocking, by-the-minute immediacy as a piece of journalism. The novel follows Ola Olajide, herself a high-profile journalist at Womxxxn Magazine, one half of an incredibly social-media famous power couple alongside her fiance, Michael. Always the first to call out and retweet the exposures of predatory men, the glossy aesthetic of her relationship comes apart when the titular ‘List’ is shared online, detailing allegations of more high-profile abusers. And who’s name would appear on it, but Michael’s. Adegoke’s novel has the tautness of a thriller with all the smarts of the best kind of non-fiction - penetrating, exacting, biting. As we follow the ensuing crisis in Michael and Ola’s relationship, as he desperately tries to prove his innocence, Adegoke performs one of the most dramatic fictional high-wire acts of the year. In her treatment of cancel culture and the saturation of the internet, Adegoke doesn’t demonise these facets of modern life as naturally corrupting, rather portrays them as neutral systems through which the complex inevitability of human nature is only confirmed.
I called Yomi on her way back from a Q&A with the actress Sheila Atim, and I felt incredibly lucky to grab a little time to chat with one of the most in-demand authors of the moment - and even more impressed she answered my questions so brilliantly while in transit. But it felt fitting for a writer such as Adegoke to do so - always on the move, never stopping for a moment, not just keeping up with the moment, but recognised as the moment itself. With The List, she has set a thrillingly dynamic tempo which contemporary publishing will have to, somehow, keep pace with.