Are you looking for books by black authors? Are you looking to make your bookshelf more diverse? Here is a list of books by black authors. Considering recent events I have made a promise to myself and others to make my bookshelf more diverse. These are currently the books by black authors that I have on my shelves and intend to read. It is so important that we make our bookshelves more diverse and no only read books by black authors but books by people of every colour and gender orientation.

Books by Black Authors that I intend to read this year.

Girl, Woman, Other

‘Exceptional. You have to order it right now’ Stylist

This is Britain as you’ve never read it.
This is Britain as it has never been told.

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .

Homegoing

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.

Such a Fun Age

When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with the best of intentions, resolves to make things right. 

But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When a surprising connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know – about themselves, each other, and the messy dynamics of privilege.

The Vanishing Half

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ story lines intersect? 

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passingLooking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

Red at the Bone  

Brooklyn, 2001. It is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress – the very same dress that was sewn for a different wearer, Melody’s mother, for a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody’s family – from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre to post 9/11 New York – Red at the Bone explores sexual desire, identity, class, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, as it looks at the ways in which young people must so often make fateful decisions about their lives before they have even begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be. 

Opposite of Always

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, he knows he’s falling – hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. 

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. 

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

The Terrible

‘You may not run away from the thing that you are because it comes and comes and comes as sure as you breathe.’

This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened – ‘even the Terrible Things (and God, there were Terrible Things)’. It’s about her childhood in the north-west of England with her beautiful, careworn mother and her little brother who sees things written in the stars.

It’s also about growing up and discovering the power and fear of sexuality, about pitch grey days of pills and powder: going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.

An American Marriage

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.

Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together. 

A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control.

 

Zami: A New Spelling of my Name - a flaylay of books by black authors

Zami: A New Spelling of my Name

If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive

A little black girl opens her eyes in 1930s Harlem, weak and half-blind. On she stumbles – through teenage pain and loneliness, but then to happiness in friendship, work and sex, from Washington Heights to Mexico, always changing, always strong. This is Audre Lorde’s story. A rapturous, life-affirming autobiographical novel by the ‘Black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet’, it changed the literary landscape.

I Almost Forgot About You

The number-one New York Times best-selling 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.

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life – great friends, family, and successful career – aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, quitting her job as an optometrist and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Like Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove BackI Almost Forgot About You will show legions of listeners what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction.

Queenie

She just can’t cut a break. Well, apart from one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That’s just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Stuck between a boss who doesn’t seem to see her, a family who don’t seem to listen (if it’s not Jesus or water rates, they’re not interested), and trying to fit in two worlds that don’t really understand her, it’s no wonder she’s struggling.

All the Women in My Family Sing: Women Write the World: Essays on Equality, Justice, and Freedom

All the Women in My Family Sing is an anthology documenting the experiences of women of color at the dawn of the twenty-first century. It is a vital collection of prose and poetry whose topics range from the pressures of being the vice-president of a Fortune 500 Company, to escaping the killing fields of Cambodia, to the struggles inside immigration, identity, romance, and self-worth. These brief, trenchant essays capture the aspirations and wisdom of women of color as they exercise autonomy, creativity, and dignity and build bridges to heal the brokenness in today’s turbulent world.

Sixty-nine authors ― African American, Asian American, Chicana, Native American, Cameroonian, South African, Korean, LGBTQI ― lend their voices to broaden cross-cultural understanding and to build bridges to each other’s histories and daily experiences of life. America Ferrera’s essay is from her powerful speech at the Women’s March in Washington D.C.; Natalie Baszile writes about her travels to Louisiana to research Queen Sugar and finding the “painful truths” her father experienced in the “belly of segregation;” Porochista Khakpour tells us what it is like to fly across America under the Muslim travel ban; Lalita Tademy writes about her transition from top executive at Sun Microsystems to NY Times bestselling author. This anthology is monumental and timely as human rights and justice are being challenged around the world. It is a watershed title, not only written, but produced entirely by women of color, including the publishing, editing, process management, book cover design, and promotions. Our vision is to empower underrepresented voices and to impact the world of publishing in America ― particularly important in a time when 80% of people who work in publishing self-identify as white (as found recently in a study by Lee & Low Books, and reported on NPR).

Clap When You Land

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Americanah 

Americanah, speaking of race issues in the United States, through the eyes of the protagonist, Ifemelu. It also shows some insight into the problems of immigrants and racial issues in the United Kingdom through the eyes of Ifemelu’s first boyfriend, Obinze. The book also deals with the economic problems in Nigeria due to corruption, and the lack of will of the government and the wealthy people to bring about change. Ifemelu is a Nigerian girl who gets tired of the constant strikes in her university and goes abroad to complete her education. Her experiences in both Nigeria and the United States form the basis of the book.

I do hope you find a book by black authors that you like here. Please let me know what you think of the one you read. If you have any more books you think should be included in these books by black authors list then please let know.

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