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Fiction books by diverse authors that introduce characters from other cultures, as well as books to entertain.
Here is a sampling of titles. Click the link above to see more titles in this collection.
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister SouljahRenowned hip-hop artist, political activist and bestselling author Sister Souljah brings the streets of New York to life in a powerful and utterly unforgettable first novel.
Publication Date: 2005-09-20
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean VuongAn instant New York Times Bestseller! Longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal in Fiction, the 2019 Aspen Words Literacy Prize, and the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award Shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Winner of the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction! Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more. "A lyrical work of self-discovery that's shockingly intimate and insistently universal...Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post Poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born -- a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam -- and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years. Named a Best Book of the Year by: GQ, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, TIME, Esquire, The Washington Post, Apple, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker, The New York Public Library, Elle.com, The Guardian, The A.V. Club, NPR, Lithub, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue.com, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal Magazine and more!
Publication Date: 2019-06-04
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett Book Club Pick! "Bennett's tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it's especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison's 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye." --Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal "A story of absolute, universal timelessness ...For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." - Entertainment Weekly From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. 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. Many 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' storylines 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 passing. Looking 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. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
Publication Date: 2020-06-02
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates* From the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me, a boldly conjured debut novel about a magical gift, a devastating loss, and an underground war for freedom. "This potent book about America's most disgraceful sin establishes [Ta-Nehisi Coates] as a first-rate novelist."--San Francisco Chronicle NOMINATED FOR THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD * NAMED ONE OF PASTE'S BEST NOVELS OF THE DECADE * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time * NPR * The Washington Post * Chicago Tribune * Vanity Fair * Esquire * Good Housekeeping * Paste * Town & Country * The New York Public Library * Kirkus Reviews * Library Journal "Nearly every paragraph is laced through with dense, gorgeously evocative descriptions of a vanished world and steeped in its own vivid vocabulary."--Entertainment Weekly Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her--but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he's ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he's enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram's resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures. 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. Praise for The Water Dancer "Ta-Nehisi Coates is the most important essayist in a generation and a writer who changed the national political conversation about race with his 2015 memoir, Between the World and Me. So naturally his debut novel comes with slightly unrealistic expectations--and then proceeds to exceed them. The Water Dancer . . . is a work of both staggering imagination and rich historical significance. . . . What's most powerful is the way Coates enlists his notions of the fantastic, as well as his fluid prose, to probe a wound that never seems to heal. . . . Timeless and instantly canon-worthy."--Rolling Stone
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres SanchezA poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events. Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go. In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope. Praise for We Are Not From Here: "With poignant, exhausting lyricism and heart wrenching poetic prose, Jenny Torres Sanchez digs deep and shows us the throbbing, aching corazón--the hopeful, unbreakable spirit of the embattled immigrant. A book for the starving, lost soul." --Guadalupe García McCall, Pura Belpré Award-winning author of Under the Mesquite "An incredibly powerful, soul-searing YA. [I]mportant and necessary.... I could not put this book down." --Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of The Bridge Home "We Are Not From Here is one of the most relevant and needed young adult novels of the year, a must-read." --Jennifer Mathieu, critically acclaimed author of The Liars of Mariposa Island and Moxie "An achingly beautifully story...masterfully told...Jenny Torres Sanchez is a true leader within young adult fiction." --Christina Diaz Gonzalez, award-winning author of The Red Umbrella "We Are Not From Here is absolutely stunning. It's raw and real, gritty and gorgeously told. A story that's painfully relevant today, and told with such precision and beauty, you can feel it. It's breathtaking and left me absolutely breathless." --Lauren Gibaldi, author of This Tiny Perfect World "We Are Not From Here is a book that will mark your heart. Jenny Torres Sanchez challenges us to feel, empathize and understand. A searing, necessary and ultimately beautiful book." --Alexandra Villasante, critically acclaimed author of The Grief Keeper * "A brutally honest, not-to-be-missed narrative...gripping, heart-wrenching, and thrilling." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW * "A candid, realistic story that will leave readers thinking about the characters--and about our own world--long after the last page." --SLJ, STARRED REVIEW * "Gripping, poignant...this soul-shaking narrative [recalls] the works of Gabriel García Márquez." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW * "A devastating read that is difficult to put down, this unforgettable book unflinchingly illuminates the experiences of those leaving their homes to seek safety in the United States." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW