The AALBC's Favorite 100 African
Books of the 20th Century
to Exhale - Terry
From the critically acclaimed author of Mama and Disappearing Acts, a wise, earthy story of a friendship between four African American women who lean on each other while "waiting to exhale": waiting for that man who will take their breath away
Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/when the Rainbow Is Enuf: A Choreopoem - Ntozake Shange
The complete text and stage directions to Shange's 1976 Broadway production is the moving statement of a talented black woman artist who sings the song of her own experience in a way that all can relate to it.
Little Yellow Dog - Walter Mosley
Will Easy Rawlins ruin all he has worked on for the past two plus years just for spending several sensuous moments with a sexy woman? Find out in Walter Mosley's latest page-turner.
Autobiography of Malcolm X - Malcolm X and Alex Haley
A major resurgence in Malcolm X interest has led to the publication of this special commemorative edition of the black leader's autobiography. With a new epilogue written by Alex Haley just priot to his death, this book stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed, but whose message is timeless.
|25||Invisible Life: Fifth Anniversary Edition - E. Lynn Harris
[Actual Cover will be different ofr 5th anniversary edition to be published in March 1999]
After graduating with honors from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1977, Harris went to work as a sales executive for IBM. Five years ago, he quit his job as a computer salesman and used $25,000 of his own money to print INVISIBLE LIFE, which in the wake of the ensuing frenzy was published as a Doubleday paperback in 1994 and quickly soared to number one on the Blackboard Bestseller List of African American titles.
the Secret of Joy - Alice Walker
A New York Times bestseller, this is the story of Tashi Johnson, a tribal African woman now living in North America. As a young woman, a misguided loyalty to the customs of her people led her to submit to the tribal initiation rite of passage. Severely traumatized, she spends the rest of her life trying to reconcile her African heritage with her experience as a modern woman in America. Previously published by Pocket Books.
Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America - Nathan McCall
In this "honest and searching look at the perils of growing up a black male in urban America" ("San Francisco Chronicle"), "Washington Post" reporter Nathan McCall tells the story of his passage from the street and the prison yard to the newsroom of one of America's most prestigious papers. "A stirring tale of transformation".--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The New Yorker".
as I Am - E. Lynn
From the author of Invisible Life comes a vivid portrait of contemporary black life, with all its pressures and the complications of bisexuality, AIDS and racism. Harris gives his readers a refreshing view of African-American achievement and a sensitive depiction of gay/straight friendships.
Day - Gloria
Gloria Naylor won the National Book Award for first fiction in 1983 for THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE. Her subsequent novels include LINDEN HILLS, MAMA DAY, and BAILEY'S CAF�.
Wedding - Dorothy
The first novel in 45 years from famed African-American author Dorothy West, the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance [Ms. West Passed in 1998]. The Wedding is a wise and heartfelt story about the shackles of race and class we all wear -- and the price we pay to break them. The TV movie recently aired on ABC and was presented by Oprah Winfrey productions.
|31||Things Fall Apart - Chinua
A classic of modern African writing, this is the tale of what happens to tribal customs and old ways when white man comes.
Eyes, Memory - Edwidge Danticat
An unforgettable novel that shimmers with the wonder and terror of its author's native Haiti. Set in the island's impoverished villages and in New York's Haitian community, this is the story of Sophie Caco, who was conceived in an act of violence, abandoned by her mother and then summoned to America. In New York, Sophie discovers that Haiti imposes harsh rules on its own.
Mama's Rules - Sheneska Jackson
In this fresh, outspoken novel about contemporary relationships and the rules that guide (and misguide) them, Sheneska Jackson''s "jazzy voice sounds smoother and sweeter than ever" ("Newsday").
Better - Rosalyn McMillan
With the raw, vivid energy that made her first novel a national bestseller, Rosalyn McMillan tells the story of Spice Witherspoon, a prosperous Detroit restaurateur, and her two grown daughters, Sterling and Mink. Mink has always been a joy, but Sterling has always been--and probably always will be--trouble with a capital "T". A story of love, family, and the search for the right someone to share it all with, this is contemporary women's fiction at its very best.
|35||Your Blues Ain't Like Mine - Bebe Moore Campbell
Campbell's affecting memoir, Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad, was hailed as "one of the more overdue books about and for the black community" by The Washington Post. Now, in her first novel, repercussions are felt for decades in a dozen lives after a racist beating turns to cold-blooded murder in a small 1950s Mississippi town.
|36||Devil in a Blue Dress - Walter Mosley
Devil in a Blue Dress honors the tradition of the classic American detective novel by bestowing on it a vivid social canvas and the freshest new voice in crime writing in years, mixing the hard-boiled poetry of Raymond Chandler with the racial realism of Richard Wright to explosive effect.
|37||Sula - Toni Morrison
This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines--from their growing up together in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.
|38||The Bluest Eye - Toni
From the 1993 Nobel Prize-winner comes a novel "so charged with pain and wonder that it becomes poetry" (The New York Times). First published in 1965, The Bluest Eye is the story of a black girl who prays -- with unforeseen consequences--for her eyes to turn blue so she will be accepted.
|39||A Gathering of Old Men - Ernest Gaines
"Set on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation in the 1970s, A Gathering of Old Men is a powerful depiction of racial tensions arising over the death of a Cajun farmer."
|40||My Soul to Keep - Tananarive
Tananarive Due mixes nearly unbearable suspense with fantasy and horror in this tightly woven tale. When people close to her begin to meet violent, mysterious deaths, Jessica's husband makes an unimaginable confession: More than 400 years ago he and other members of an Ethiopian sect gave up their humanity for immortality--a secret that he must now protect at any cost. 352 pp. 15,000 print.