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Fiction by Black Authors - Some Recent Favorites

by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)

Collage of book covers by Black authors

Looking for amazing fiction reads by Black authors? Here are a few of my recent favorites, all of which are adult fiction by Black women. These span a lot of genres and styles, so see the details below to find one (or more) for you!

Brit Bennett's The Mothers - I'm here for anything Brit Bennett writes. This powerful story (realistic fiction) comments on the complex relationships between women and the way that women's relationships with men can impact those female dynamics. I also appreciated the way that Bennett explored suicide and what its impact is like for the loved ones affected. I'm currently completely absorbed in Bennett's latest novel, The Vanishing Half. Don't miss Jen's review of that one on our Book Reviews!

Oyinkan Braithwaite's My Sister, the Serial Killer - Though I rarely enjoy thrillers, I thought this one was brilliant. This is the story of two sisters, Korede and Ayoola, and in it Braithwaite explores how far loyalty to family can go. I loved this one so much that I even recommended it in our latest thriller episode, "Thrillers You Can't Put Down."

Abi Daré's The Girl with the Louding Voice - This debut novel (realistic fiction) does NOT disappoint. I fell in love with Adunni, the courageous main character, as I learned about her struggles and her desire for education. Check out my review here on our Book Reviews.

Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing - I loved everything about book that traces a family through generations both in Africa and in America as part of the family is forced into slavery while another part of the family remains in Africa. It's such a rich novel, and I loved the way that the different stories both stood alone and also wove together into an amazing tapestry.

Anissa Gray's The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls - This powerful novel explores what happens to a family when a scandal tears it apart. Gray examines how sisters can cover for each other and can rise above their disagreements to take care of each other's children. We discussed this one on the podcast for our Unabridged Book Club earlier this season in episode 93.

Talia Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown - In this fun romance book, Hibbert shows Chloe Brown, who lives with chronic illness, as she realizes she has feelings for Red, a painter who has suffered profound heartbreak that has also damaged his career. Through the tender relationship that begins to unfold between Chloe and Red, Hibbert explores issues of class, race, and living with chronic illness. I can't wait to read Take a Hint, Dani Brown, which features Chloe's sister, Dani!

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah - This is a brilliant realistic fiction book about Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who journeys to America to attend school. She lives in America for many years before returning to Nigeria. It's a beautiful story about the complexities of love and of borders and travel restrictions and the way that those realities can shape one's life. It's also an examination of the way that travel and living abroad changes people forever, making it hard to belong in any one place. I loved this one so much. Another amazing book by Adichie is We Should All Be Feminists, which is an awesome, short nonfiction work in which she explores precisely what the title indicates -- why we should all be feminists. She reads the audiobook herself, so it's a great one to listen to as well!

Nnedi Okorafor's Binti series (Binti, Binti: Home, and Binti: The Night Masquerade) - I love everything I've read by Okorafor. This series of novellas is sci-fi and centers on Binti, an amazing, brave character who works toward a truce with an alien race through her openness and her willingness to develop relationships instead of using violence.

Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing - This book. Wow. It was the first one I read by Jesmyn Ward, but I look forward to reading her other books soon. This story focuses on Jojo, a brave boy who does his best to take care of his baby sister Kayla, despite his mother's unreliability. Although Jojo wants to stay at the house with his Mam and Pap (his grandparents who are his main caretakers), he and Kayla wind up on a road trip with their mom that exposes the underbelly of their world and of the American landscape. Ward explores the tenderness of relationships and the way that those bonds can fray but how they ultimately persevere.

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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