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Page-turners by Black Authors

5 Books | by Brian Rash

Forged by Fire

Forged by Fire

Books

The flame of love burns bright in the second book of Sharon M. Draper’s award-winning Hazelwood High trilogy.When Gerald was a child he was fascinated by fire. But fire is dangerous and powerful, and tragedy strikes. His substance-addicted mother is taken from him. Then he loses the loving generosity of a favorite aunt, and a brutal stepfather with a flaming temper and an evil secret makes his life miserable. The one bright light in Gerald's life is his little half sister, Angel, whom he struggles to protect from her father, who is abusing her. Somehow Gerald manages to finds success as a member of the Hazelwood Tigers basketball team, and Angel develops her talents as a dancer, despite the trouble that still haunts them. And Gerald learns, painfully, that young friends can die and old enemies must be faced. In the end he must stand up to his stepfather alone in a blazing confrontation. In this second book of the Hazelwood High trilogy, Sharon M. Draper has woven characters and events from Tears of a Tiger in an unflinchingly realistic portrayal of poverty and child abuse. It is an inspiring story of a young man who rises above the tragic circumstances of his life by drawing on the love and strength of family and friends.

Midnight

Midnight

Books

“Beverly Jenkins has reached superstardom.” —Detroit Free Press Beverly Jenkins enthralls romance readers once again with Midnight—a heart-soaring African American historical romance novel set during America’s turbulent Revolutionary War. A story of passion and dangerous intrigue, Midnight unites a beautiful undercover spy—the notorious “Lady Midnight” who’s helping the rebels fight for a nation’s independence from the British—with a reckless and dashing adventurer on a mission of personal vengeance. Exciting, thrilling, wonderfully sensual—and alive with fascinating history—Midnight is further proof why Beverly Jenkins is one of the world’s premier authors of African American romantic fiction.

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

Books

This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later. Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical silence and creates for her a fictional childhood, adolescence, and old age. She turns her into what she calls "a sort of female hero, an epic heroine, like the legendary ‘Nanny of the maroons,’" who, schooled in the sorcery and magical ritual of obeah, is arrested for healing members of the family that owns her.CARAF Books:Caribbean and African Literature Translated from FrenchThis book has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agencY.

Bloodchild and Other Stories

Bloodchild and Other Stories

Books

A perfect introduction for new readers and a must-have for avid fans, this New York Times Notable Book includes "Bloodchild," winner of both the Hugo and the Nebula awards and "Speech Sounds," winner of the Hugo Award. Appearing in print for the first time, "Amnesty" is a story of a woman named Noah who works to negotiate the tense and co-dependent relationship between humans and a species of invaders. Also new to this collection is "The Book of Martha" which asks: What would you do if God granted you the ability—and responsibility—to save humanity from itself?Like all of Octavia Butler’s best writing, these works of the imagination are parables of the contemporary world. She proves constant in her vigil, an unblinking pessimist hoping to be proven wrong, and one of contemporary literature’s strongest voices.

Where the Line Bleeds

Where the Line Bleeds

Books

The first novel from National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn Ward, a timeless Southern fable of brotherly love and familial conflict—“a lyrical yet clear-eyed portrait of a rural South and an African American reality that are rarely depicted” (The Boston Globe).Where the Line Bleeds is Jesmyn Ward’s gorgeous first novel and the first of three novels set in Bois Sauvage—followed by Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing—comprising a loose trilogy about small town sourthern family life. Described as “starkly beautiful” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), “fearless” (Essence), and “emotionally honest” (The Dallas Morning News), it was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award. Joshua and Christophe are twins, raised by a blind grandmother and a large extended family in rural Bois Sauvage, on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. They’ve just finished high school and need to find jobs, but after Katrina, it’s not easy. Joshua gets work on the docks, but Christophe’s not so lucky and starts to sell drugs. Christophe’s downward spiral is accelerated first by crack, then by the reappearance of the twins’ parents: Cille, who left for a better job, and Sandman, a dangerous addict. Sandman taunts Christophe, eventually provoking a shocking confrontation that will ultimately damn or save both twins. Where the Line Bleeds takes place over the course of a single, life-changing summer. It is a delicate and closely observed portrait of fraternal love and strife, of the relentless grind of poverty, of the toll of addiction on a family, and of the bonds that can sustain or torment us. Bois Sauvage, based on Ward’s own hometown, is a character in its own right, as stiflingly hot and as rich with history as it is bereft of opportunity. Ward’s “lushly descriptive prose…and her prodigious talent and fearless portrayal of a world too often overlooked” (Essence) make this novel an essential addition to her incredible body of work.

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