Home Lifestyle Glitz Reads: 25 Books by Contemporary Black Authors

Glitz Reads: 25 Books by Contemporary Black Authors

In the light of recent developments which have rekindled conversations on race, we have 25 recommended reads by black authors. We believe no one can tell our story better than ourselves and this is why it is important for all everyone especially non-Blacks to read our works and understand what we experience life as people of colour.

  1. Well-Read Black Girl

by Glory Edim

An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.

 

  1. Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

 

  1. The Girl with the Louding Voice

by Abi Daré

A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to get an education so that she can escape and choose her own future.

 

  1. I Almost Forgot About You

by Terry McMillan

Bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning.

 

  1. Red at the Bone

by Jacqueline Woodson

An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other, from the National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

 

  1. Homegoing

by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.

 

  1. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

by Helen Oyeyemi

Helen Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation? What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours captivates as it explores the many possible answers.

 

  1. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

by ZZ Packer

With penetrating insight, ZZ Packer helps us see the world with a clearer vision. Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a striking performance—fresh, versatile, and captivating.

 

  1. Loving Day

by Mat Johnson

A frequently hilarious, surprisingly moving story about blacks and whites, fathers and daughters, the living and the dead, Loving Day celebrates the wonders of opposites bound in love.

 

  1. Behold the Dreamers

by Imbolo Mbue

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy.

 

  1. More Than Enough

by Elaine Welteroth

Part-manifesto, part-memoir, from the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue, an exploration of what it means to come into your own—on your own terms.

 

  1. Black Leopard, Red Wolf

by Marlon James

In the stunning first novel in Marlon James’s Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.

 

  1. We Cast a Shadow

by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

This electrifying, hallucinatory novel is at once a keen satire of surviving racism in America and a profoundly moving family story. At its center is a father who just wants his son to thrive in a broken world. Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s work evokes the clear vision of Ralph Ellison, the dizzying menace of Franz Kafka, and the crackling prose of Vladimir Nabokov. We Cast a Shadow fearlessly shines a light on the violence we inherit, and on the desperate things we do for the ones we love.

 

  1. The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

 

  1. Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of Trevor Noah’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

 

  1. Black Is the Body

by Emily Bernard

Black is the Body is an extraordinary, exquisitely written memoir that looks at race–in a fearless, penetrating, honest, true way–in twelve tell-tale, connected, deeply personal essays.

 

  1. Known and Strange Things

by Teju Cole

Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Thingsis an opportunity to live within Teju Cole’s wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities, and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames.

 

  1. The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

 

  1. Ordinary Light

by Tracy K. Smith

In Ordinary Light, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith tells her remarkable story, giving us a quietly potent memoir that explores her coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.

 

  1. What We Lose

by Zinzi Clemmons

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age—a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country.

 

  1. Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The bestselling novel from the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele.

 

  1. Five-Carat Soul

by James McBride

James McBride writes with humor and insight about how we struggle to understand who we are in a world we don’t fully comprehend. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.

 

  1. The Girl Who Smiled Beads

by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

In 1994, Clemantine Wamariya and her sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries. Later, she seemed to live the American dream yet the years of being treated as less than human could not be erased. In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine recognizes the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks.

 

  1. Finding Gideon

by Eric Jerome Dickey

 

A professional job turns personal for jet-setting contract killer Gideon in this sexy, thrilling page-turner by bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey.

 

  1. Ghana Must Go

by Taiye Selasi

Electric, exhilarating, and beautifully crafted, Ghana Must Go is a sweeping narrative that takes readers from Accra to Lagos to London to New York, it is at once a portrait of a modern family and an exploration of the importance of where we come from to who we are.

Source: Penguin Random House

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