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Misfits: A Personal Manifesto – Michaela Coel

Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

In this sensational agenda-setting début, Michaela Coel, BAFTA-winning actor and writer of breakout series I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum, makes a compelling case for radical honesty.

Drawing on her unflinching Edinburgh Festival MacTaggart lecture, Misfits recounts deeply personal anecdotes from Coel’s life and work to argue for greater transparency. With insight and wit, it lays bare her journey to reclaiming her creativity and power, inviting readers to reflect on theirs.

Advocating for ‘misfits’ everywhere, this timely, necessary book is a rousing and bold case against fitting in.

I enjoy Michaela Coel’s work and throughly enjoyed watching Chewing Gum and I May Destroy you. So, when I saw that Michaela Coel had a book coming out I was excited to give it a read. This book is essentially Coel’s MacTaggart lecture transcribed with some new essays at the start and end. As someone who hasn’t watched the MacTaggart lecture this was perfect. It was inspiring, eye-opening and thought provoking.

A lot of people have only recommend this book to people who haven’t seen the lecture. But, as someone who read the book and then watched the lecture, I would recommend it to everyone! It is incredibly powerful and in my opinion is a must read / listen. 

Throughout this book Michaela Coel talks about growing up as a Black women in London. Discussing the racism she experienced at school to her time at a drama school. It was lovely to see a number of memories from Coel about why she loves theatre and being creative. It really stuck with me when Coel discussed how sexist, racist and toxic the filming industry can be. There is also a section where she speaks about being sexual assaulted. Although she does not go into too much detail here, this section is not the easiest thing to read. But, that is of course as it should be as it provokes thoughts within you.

This books is called Misfits and throughout Michaela Coel expands on the idea of this. It was refreshing to read a memoir where being a ‘misfit’ is perfectly normal. It also explores what it is like to find your identity and where you belong. It is wonderful. 

Personally, I would love to gave read a few more essays by Coel rather than her MacTaggart talk sandwiched between two short new pieces. Although the first and its mention of moths and anosmia was one I thoroughly enjoyed. I will definitely be on the look out for more essays by Michaela Coel in the future.

Overall, I would highly recommend giving this book a read. It is a quick read but leaves you thinking, inspired me and opened my eyes. If you have seen Coel’s MacTaggart lecture or not, I would highly recommend giving this one a read.

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