February is Black History Month, and we want to celebrate these incredible works of literature written by black authors. If you’re looking to make your bookshelf a little more diverse this year, here are some amazing authors to consider adding to your list!
If you’ve been paying any attention to us over the last, say, 5 months, you’ve likely noticed that we haven’t shut up about Washington Black. Well, guess what? We’re not about to any time soon! Esi Edugyan has won the Giller Prize for two straight books. Enough said.
The Hate U Give is another one of those books that we just won’t stop talking about, and for good reason. It is such an important book (seriously, everyone needs to read it) AND it’s been a New York Times bestseller for 100 weeks! Plus, Angie Thomas is back with On The Come Up, which just released today! Exciting times.
Tiffany D. Jackson
Tiffany D. Jackson is another author that everyone should be reading. Both Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming were incredible tales of suspense that were so much more than simple thrillers, and we cannot wait for her upcoming novel (partially written in verse!) Let Me Hear a Rhyme to come out. Only three more months!
Roxane Gay is a searing, smart, and brilliant writer whose works on gender and body shaming in particular – like Bad Feminist, Hunger, and Not That Bad – are mesmerizing additions to an amazing body of work that includes fiction, essays, and even graphic novels. I would argue that Roxane Gay might be the most important thinker right now.
Lawrence Hill is probably best known for The Book of Negroes, especially since the CBC mini-series was released, but, as anyone who has read him before, it’s impossible to stop at just that novel. He is a master of historical fiction and combines brilliant storytelling with beautiful prose, which makes The Illegal and Any Known Blood truly amazing reads.
For those 50 Book Pledgers out there, you may recognize this book, since it was one of our January Featured Reads! This debut novel is a witty and heartfelt tale of a Black French Canadian who moves to Austin, Texas. Here’s to hoping there’s more where The Field Guide to the North American Teenager came from!
Ibi Zoboi is a writer that deserves a much wider audience. In American Street and Pride, Ibi Zoboi tackles issues relating to race, cultural identity, class, and gentrification with the poise and brilliance of a truly talented writer. As well as writing her own novels, she also edited the collection Black Enough, a collection of short stories written by some of the most prominent black authors writing today.
If you’re looking for a kick-ass novel that exists on the borders of historical fiction, action/adventure, and thriller, look no further than Justina Ireland‘s Dread Nation. Set during the Civil War, Dread Nation presents a stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet. Bonus: Justina Ireland is also featured in the Ibi Zoboi-edited anthology Black Enough!
Which authors are you reading to mark this Black History Month? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Remember: READ. DIVERSE. BOOKS.
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