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Found 108 Books Published by Akashic Books — Book Cover Mosaic

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Click for more detail about A History of the African-American People (Proposed) by Percival Everett and James Kincaid A History of the African-American People (Proposed)

by Percival Everett and James Kincaid
Akashic Books (Apr 01, 2004)
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Praise for Percival Everett:

?If Percival Everett isn’t already a household name, it’s because people are more interested in politics than truth.”?Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Washington Square Ensemble

?Everett’s talent is multifaceted, sparked by a satiric brilliance that could place him alongside Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison . . .”?Publishers Weekly

?I think Percival Everett is a genius. I’ve been a fan since his first novel. He continues to amaze me with each novel?as if he likes making 90-degree turns to see what’s around the corner, and then over the edge . . . He’s a brilliant writer and so damn smart I envy him.”?Terry McMillan, author of Mama

A fictitious and satirical chronicle of South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond’s desire to pen a history of African-Americans?his and his aides’ belief being that he has done as much, or more, than any American to shape that history. An epistolary novel, The History follows the letters of loose cannon Congressional office workers, insane interns at a large New York publishing house and disturbed publishing executives, along with homicidal rival editors, kindly family friends, and an aspiring author named Septic. Strom Thurmond appears charming and open, mad and sure of his place in American history.

Percival Everett is the author of 15 works of fiction, among them Glyph, Watershed and Frenzy. His most recent novel, Erasure, won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and did little to earn him friends.

James Kincaid is an English professor at the University of Southern California and has written seven books in literary theory and cultural studies. These books and Kincaid himself have gradually lost their moorings in the academic world, so there was nothing left for him to do but to adopt the guise of fiction writer. Writing about madness comes easy to him.


Click for more detail about A Phat Death: Or, The Last Days of Noir Soul (Nina Halligan) by Norman Kelley A Phat Death: Or, The Last Days of Noir Soul (Nina Halligan)

by Norman Kelley
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Fiction. African American Studies. A hit on a notorious hip-hop star plunges Nina into the vortex of a violent power struggle to control a valuable commodity in the recording industry, namely black music. Nina takes the music industry by storm-no music mogul or sinister rap star is left standing. "Want a scathing social and political satire? Look no further than Norman Kelley’s second effort featuring ’bad girl’ African-American PI and part-time intellectual Nina Halligan-it’s a romp of a read."-Publishers Weekly.

Book Review

Click for more detail about A Simple Distance by K. E. Silva A Simple Distance

by K. E. Silva
Akashic Books (Oct 01, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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When Jean Sousa’s uncle, a high-ranking politician on the fictional Caribbean -island of Baobique, is diagnosed with brain cancer, Jean is forced to reconcile difficult family relationships and her place among them.


Click for more detail about Abstraktion und Einfühlung: Poems by Percival Everett by Percival Everett Abstraktion und Einfühlung: Poems by Percival Everett

by Percival Everett
Akashic Books (Nov 01, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“Everett’s talent is multifaceted, sparked by a satiric brilliance that could place him alongside Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.”—Publishers Weekly

“I think Percival Everett is a genius.… He’s a brilliant writer and so damn smart I envy him.”—Terry McMillan

Chris Abani has developed his groundbreaking Black Goat poetry series with exciting and provocative new voices. Here, Percival Everett proves that his fine literary talents move far beyond the realm of the novel.

Percival Everett is the author of fifteen novels, among them The Water Cure, Erasure, and Glyph. He is a distinguished professor of English at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.


Click for more detail about All or Nothing by Preston L. Allen All or Nothing

by Preston L. Allen
Akashic Books (Nov 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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What William S. Burroughs’ Junky was to heroin addiction, All or Nothing is to gambling.


Click for more detail about Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh by Thomas Glave Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh

by Thomas Glave
Akashic Books (Jul 02, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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With an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa

Named a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Nonfiction!

Included in the 2014 Over the Rainbow list

Selected by Publishers Weekly as a Pick of the Week (July 1st, 2013)!

Selected by The Airship/Black Balloon Publishing as a Best Book of 2013

"This collection is wide-ranging, moving from the Caribbean (Jamaica in particular) to Cambridge, England, and from poetry to sex to discrimination."
—Library Journal (BEA Editors’ Picks feature)

"A profound compassion for racial and sexual minorities, the oppressed, and the colonized, informs [Glave’s] searing, beautifully evocative collection of essays…He captures the languor and seductiveness of Jamaica…A graceful and original stylist, Glave highlights the marginalized—calling on the descendants of people who toiled for the Empire as slaves and colonial subjects to never forget their past, and, in effect, to those who profit from that past to acknowledge their complicity. Ultimately, his work is critical, yet filled with generosity and compassion."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Thomas Glave surely is one of the bravest of contemporary authors…He is a fearless truth-teller whose essays in Among the Bloodpeople are fully, unhesitatingly engaged with his and our world."
—New York Journal of Books

"This is a collection that will leave you with chills; you will return to it not only for its sheer beauty, but also for its raw honesty, pain, and passion."
—Lambda Literary Report

"Glave writes beautifully…his…voice deserves our attention."
—The Gay & Lesbian Review

"A wonderful anthology, interspersing personal essays with more academic-leaning articles."
—CCLaP

"Glave remarks on the state of an island as he sees it, and of a people whose legacies bear out in astonishing ways, employing prose that soothes while its subject matter sears genteel sensibilities."
—Caribbean Beat

"Glave crosses boundaries of genre and community, speaking with extraordinary candor and vulnerability variously as the American son of immigrants, as a Jamaican, as a professor, as a queer boy from the Bronx…What unifies these identities and these essays is the ferocity of Glave’s voice, his sentences that can feel like living, untamed things."
—Towleroad: A Site with Homosexual Tendencies

"I didn’t know [homosexuals in Jamaica] were disemboweled with machetes. And I didn’t consider one could be poetic about fear and anger and isolation. But the touchingly phrased sentences don’t soften the impact of reading about murder and political corruption. Instead, it eats at you because it makes you attentive to every word, feel the pauses as Glave takes a breath and speaks with the pulse of his heartbeat."
—Reeling and Writhing and Fainting in Coils

"With Among the Bloodpeople, [Glave] has given us a book as beautiful as it is necessary."
—Next Magazine

"After stunning readers with his story collections Whose Song? and The Torturer’s Wife, the O. Henry- and multiple Lammy-winner now returns to nonfiction in Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh."
—Band of Thebes

"Glave’s texts examine themselves, change course, and raise questions about their own assertions. Glave’s hatred of oppression is balanced by his love of writing."
—Ithaca.com

Thomas Glave has been admired for his unique style and exploration of taboo, politically volatile topics. The award-winning author’s new collection, Among the Bloodpeople, contains all the power and daring of his earlier writing but ventures even further into the political, the personal, and the secret.

Each essay in the volume reveals a passionate commitment to social justice and human truth. Whether confronting Jamaica’s prime minister on antigay bigotry, contemplating the risks and seductions of "outlawed" sex, exploring a world of octopuses and men performing somersaults in the Caribbean Sea, or challenging repressive tactics employed at the University of Cambridge, Glave expresses the observations of a global citizen with the voice of a poet.


Click for more detail about Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez Anna In-Between

by Elizabeth Nunez
Akashic Books (Sep 01, 2009)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Read a book review by Me, You and Books

Anna In-Between is Elizabeth Nunez's finest literary achievement to date. In spare prose, with laserlike attention to every word and the juxtaposition of words to each other, Nunez returns to themes of emotional alienation, within the context of class and color discrimination, so richly developed in her earlier novels.

Anna, the novel's main character who has a successful publishing career in the United States, is the daughter of an upper-class Caribbean family. While on vacation in the island home of her birth she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer. Beatrice categorically rejects all efforts to persuade her to go to the United States for treatment, even though it is, perhaps, her only chance of survival. Anna and her father, who tries to remain respectful of his wife's wishes, must convince her to change her mind.


Click for more detail about Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez Anna In-Between

by Elizabeth Nunez
Akashic Books (Aug 17, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A psychologically and emotionally astute family portrait, with dark themes like racism, cancer and the bittersweet longing of the immigrant."
—New York Times Book Review (Editors Choice)

"Nunez has created a moving and insightful character study while delving into the complexities of identity politics. Highly recommended."
—Library Journal (*starred review*)

"Nunez deftly explores family strife and immigrant identity in her vivid latest . . . with expressive prose and convincing characters that immediately hook the reader."
—Publishers Weekly (*starred review*)

"Nunez offers an intimate portrait of the unknowable secrets and indelible ties that bind husbands and wives, mothers and daughters."
—Booklist

"The award-winning author of Prospero’s Daughter has written a novel more intimate than her usual big-picture work; this moving exploration of immigrant identity has a protagonist caught between race, class and a mothers love."
—Ms. Magazine

"Probing and lyrical, this fantastic novel is one of Nunez’s best yet."
—Edwidge Danticat

ANNA IN-BETWEEN is Elizabeth Nunez’s finest literary achievement to date. In spare prose, with laserlike attention to every word and the juxtaposition of words to each other, Nunez returns to her themes of emotional alienation, within the context of class and color discrimination, so richly developed in her earlier novels.

Anna, the novel’s main character, who has a successful publishing career in the U.S., is the daughter of an upper-class Caribbean family. While on vacation in the island home of her birth she discovers that her mother, Beatrice, has breast cancer. Beatrice categorically rejects all efforts to persuade her to go to the U.S. for treatment, even though it is, perhaps, her only chance of survival.

Elizabeth Nunez is an award-winning author of seven novels. She is a distinguished professor at Hunter College, CUNY, and divides her time between Amityville, New York, and Brooklyn.


Click for more detail about As Flies to Whatless Boys by Robert Antoni As Flies to Whatless Boys

by Robert Antoni
Akashic Books (Sep 03, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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As Flies to Whatless Boys has been longlisted for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award!

Winner of the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize!

Included in World Literature Today’s Nota Benes, Summer 2014

One of Edwidge Danticat’s Best Books of 2013, the New Yorker

A Favorite Novel of 2013, Tin House

"William’s account of young love attests to Antoni’s fluency in the poetry of nostalgia. In words as vibrant as the personalities he creates, Antoni deftly captures unconquered territories and the risks we’re willing to take exploring them."
Publishers Weekly

"The emotional influence of Willy’s narrativehis loving descriptions of the people who surround himis profoundly effective…Strikes strong emotional chords."
Kirkus Reviews

"Antoni…has written a novel epic in scope that…is driven by outbursts of fine writing."
Booklist

"A rollicking 19th-century colonial tale blends history with imagination."
Library Journal

"Robert Antoni gracefully combines layers of idealism, love, and a plague of the Black Vomit in this historical novel."
World Literature Today

"It brings the travails and small delights of Willy Tucker to the centre stage of our imaginings, asking only that we accompany him on this unforgettable voyage."
Caribbean Beat

"This tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humour, provides an unforgettable glimpse into 19th-century T&T. The book’s narrator, Willy, falls headover-heels for the enthralling and wise Marguerite Whitechurch. Coming from the gentry, Marguerite is a world away from Willy’s labouring class."
The Trinidad Guardian, one of the Best Caribbean Books of the Year

"Reminds us that storytelling is fundamental to the human condition…A contending classic of postcolonial literature."
Trinidad Guardian, Review/2014 OCM Bocas Prize Feature

"Reminds us that storytelling is fundamental to the human condition…A contending classic of postcolonial literature."
Trinidad Guardian, 2014 OCM Bocas Prize Feature

"I have been hooked on Robert Antoni since his first novel, Divina Trace. His new one, As Flies to Whatless Boys, is a marvel of narrative and documents, which collide to create a book that is at times breathtaking and tragic and at other times laugh-out-loud hilarious."
Edwidge Danticat, who selected As Flies to Whatless Boys as a Best Book of 2013 for the New Yorker?s Page-Turner Blog

"A bittersweet coming-of-age tale of tragedy, chicanery, high ideals, harsh realities, and the hard choice between love and family duty, As Flies to Whatless Boys is highly recommended."
Midwest Book Review

"As Flies to Whatless Boys is a kind of complex word game, a historical narrative in a lilting Caribbean accent, wrapped around with an oddball love story in a wild form of English that seems to create itself as it goes along. In between, snippets of contemporary records provide foils for both these linguistic inventions."
Historical Novel Society

In 1845 London, an engineer, philosopher, philanthropist, and bold-faced charlatan, John Adolphus Etzler, has invented machines that he thinks will transform the division of labor and free all men. He forms a collective called the Tropical Emigration Society (TES), and recruits a variety of London citizens to take his machines and his misguided ideas to form a proto-socialist, utopian community in the British colony of Trinidad.

Among his recruits is a young boy (and the book’s narrator) named Willy, who falls head-over-heels for the enthralling and wise Marguerite Whitechurch. Coming from the gentry, Marguerite is a world away from Willy’s laboring class. As the voyage continues, and their love for one another strengthens, Willy and Marguerite prove themselves to be true socialists, their actions and adventures standing in stark contrast to Etzler’s disconnected theories.

Robert Antoni’s tragic historical novel, accented with West Indian cadence and captivating humor, provides an unforgettable glimpse into nineteenth-century Trinidad & Tobago.


Click for more detail about Bandits & Bibles: Convict Literature in Nineteenth-Century America by Larry E. Sullivan Bandits & Bibles: Convict Literature in Nineteenth-Century America

by Larry E. Sullivan
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A lively array of selections from the earliest recorded convict autobiographies, examining crimes, arrests and convictions, punishments inflicted, survival techniques, and spiritual awakenings. Hard labor in coal mines, whippings, solitary confinement in bare unheated cells, water torture, and iron maidens—these are just a few of the punishments meted out to these prisoners and vividly recounted in these selections.

Dr. Larry E. Sullivan is Chief Librarian of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Professor of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York. He is the author of The Prison Reform Movement: Forlorn Hope, as well as author or editor of numerous other books and articles in history, penology, and other disciplines. Sullivan is currently the editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement.


Click for more detail about Becoming Abigail by Chris Abani Becoming Abigail

by Chris Abani
Akashic Books (Mar 15, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Compelling and gorgeously written, this is a coming-of-age novella like no other. Chris Abani explores the depths of loss and exploitation with what can only be described as a knowing tenderness. An extraordinary, necessary book."?Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban

"Abani’s voice brings perspective to every moment, turning pain into a beautiful painterly meditation on loss and aloneness."?Aimee Bender, author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

?Abani’s empathy for Abigail’s torn life is matched only by his honesty in portraying it. Nothing at all is held back. A harrowing piece of work.”?Peter Orner, author of The Esther Stories

Tough, spirited, and fiercely independent Abigail is brought as a teenager to London from Nigeria by relatives who attempt to force her into prostitution. She flees, struggling to find herself in the shadow of a strong but dead mother. In spare yet haunting and lyrical prose reminiscent of Marguerite Duras, Abani brings to life a young woman who lives with a strength and inner light that will enlighten and uplift the reader.

Chris Abani is a poet and novelist and the author, most recently, of GraceLand, which won the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize, a Silver Medal in the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for several other prizes including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other prizes include a PEN Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.


Click for more detail about Bedrock Faith by Eric Charles May Bedrock Faith

by Eric Charles May
Akashic Books (Mar 04, 2014)
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One of Roxane Gay’s Top 10 Books of 2014

One of Booklist’s Top 10 First Novels of 2014

One of the Chicago Reader’s Favorite Books of 2014

A Women’s Book Group Discussion Selection, Women & Children First Bookstore

One of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Ten Books to Pick Up Now, April 2014

Shortlisted for the 2014 Great Lakes Great Reads Award

Longlisted for The Morning News’s 2015 Tournament of Books

One of Five Books to Read Now, Chicago Tribune/Printers Row

Eric Charles May was named one of 25 Writers to Watch by Guild Literary Complex and one of the Lit 50 2014 by Newcity

Named a Notable African-American Title by Publishers Weekly

"In this vivid, suspenseful, funny, and compassionate novel of epiphanies, tragedies, and transformations, May drills down to our bedrock assumptions about ourselves, our values, and our communities. As sturdy as a Chicago bungalow and bursting with life, May’s debut is perfect for book clubs."
—Booklist (starred review)

"In May’s vivid, suspenseful, funny, compassionate and epiphanic first novel, the decorous Mrs. Motley, a retired librarian, along with her close-knit, gossipy Chicago South Side community, dreads the return of the notorious Stew Pot Reeves."
—Booklist, naming Bedrock Faith a Top 10 First Novel of 2014

"May’s expansive first novel reveals the complicated emotional economy that holds together a neighborhood in crisis…May’s vivid descriptions of the rhythms of life in the suburb…reveal vibrant lives in ordinary houses."
—Publishers Weekly

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald "Stew Pot" Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away, his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison. Most neighbors are skeptical of this claim, with one notable exception: Mrs. Motley, a widowed retiree and the Reeves’s next-door neighbor who loans Stew Pot a Bible, which is seen by Stew Pot and many in the community as a friendly gesture.

With uncompromising fervor (and with a new pit bull named John the Baptist), Stew Pot appoints himself the moral judge of Parkland. He discovers that a woman on his block is a lesbian and outs her to the neighborhood, the first battle in an escalating war of wills with immediate neighbors: after a mild threat from the block club president, Stew Pot reveals a secret that leaves the president’s marriage in ruin; after catching a woman from across the street snooping around his backyard, Stew Pot commits an act of intimidation that leads directly to her death.

Stew Pot’s prison mentor, an African American albino named Brother Crown, is released from prison not long after and moves in with Stew Pot and his mom. His plan is to go on a revival tour, with Stew Pot as his assistant. One night, as Stew Pot, Mrs. Reeves, and Brother Crown are witnessing around the neighborhood, a teenager from the block attempts to burn down the Reeves home. He botches the job and instead sets fire to Mrs. Motley’s house. She is just barely rescued, but her house is a total loss and she moves in with a nearby family. Neighbors are sure Stew Pot is behind the fire. The retaliations against Stew Pot continue, sending him over an emotional ledge as his life spirals out of control with grave consequences. Through the unforgettable characters of Stew Pot and Mrs. Motley, the novel provides a reflection on God, the living and the dead, and the possibilities of finding love without reservation.


Click for more detail about Beulah Hill by William Heffernan Beulah Hill

by William Heffernan
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The whispered revelations that come spilling out of -Beulah Hill are like ghostly voices you sometimes hear in the attic—soft, sad and disturbingly urgent."
—New York Times Book Review

"Mesmerizing."
—Publishers Weekly

A novel of rare literary distinction—an erotic thriller combined with a true mystery, and a look back at a little-known part of the American societal patchwork—Beulah Hill, by bestselling author William Heffernan, is a brilliant and deeply original work of fiction.

Set in the 1930s, the story follows the investigation of a racially motivated murder in a rural Vermont town and the shocking ramifications it has on that backwoods community, which had once served as a stopping place for runaway slaves. Having made new lives for themselves there, many of these former slaves married interracially, and their progeny became what was known as "bleached." The result was an atmosphere of tension and distrust that—as so vividly rendered in this novel—occasionally exploded in acts of violence . . . and even murder.

At a time when the Great Depression had created widespread fear and Hitler was just beginning his reign in Germany, Beulah Hill tells the story of a white man who was murdered in an almost ritualistic manner on land owned by the only remaining black family in that small town. Heading the investigation is a young con-stable who is himself a deeply conflicted member of the "bleached" underclass and who is intimately involved with the proud and headstrong black woman at the center of the killing.

William Heffernan, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, is the author of 15 novels, including such bestsellers as The Corsican, The Dinosaur Club (a New York Times bestseller), Tarnished Blue (Edgar Award winner) and Cityside (forthcoming from Akashic in trade paperback in fall 2003). He lives in Vermont with his wife and three sons.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Black Lotus by K’wan Black Lotus

by K’wan
Infamous Books (May 27, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Crooked cops, professional assassins, and high-level conspiracies with millions of dollars at stake drive this heart-thumping thriller set in New York City. Det. James Wolf (aka Lone Wolf), one of the NYPD’s most successful narcotics officers, never plays by the rules. His unorthodox and often dangerous practices and proclivity for working alone have mostly gone unpunished—until now. When a well-respected priest is slaughtered and hung at the altar “like a side of beef in a butcher’s freezer,” Wolf’s mentor, Captain Marx, calls him in to investigate off the record in exchange for the expunging of his messy professional record. Confused as to why the captain would call in a narcotics detective to work a homicide case, Wolf soon finds that there’s much more to the mystery than his superior has let on. K’wan (Welfare Wifeys) does a masterful job of keeping readers on their toes right up to the very last page.


Click for more detail about Black Marks by Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte Black Marks

by Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2005)
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?In this wonderfully intelligent novel, Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte explores a young woman’s complicated struggle to come to terms with her fractured past. Full of vivid characters and lovely sensual details, Black Marks transports its readers effortlessly between the many worlds Georgette inhabits. A splendid debut.” ?Margot Livesey, author of Banishing Verona

?Black Marks is an absorbing, highly imagined, and beautifully written novel. Kirsten Dinnall Hoyte rewards her readers with a brilliant interweaving of stories that capture a young woman’s movement into and out of different worlds as she searches for identity and attempts to make sense of her life.” ?William Julius Wilson, author of The Declining Significance of Race

Black Marks is the story of Georgette Collins, who wakes up one day in her early thirties to discover she had no past. Everyone has had the experience of not quite fitting in at some point in their lives, but Georgette has grown up in between worlds: black and white, gay and straight, wealthy and working class, West Indian and American.

Throughout, Georgette tries to piece together these fractured worlds from her grandmother’s stories and her own fragmented memories, but she cannot make sense of her experiences. Each reinvention of herself is more disastrous than the last. Now, Georgette, an African-American librarian, is completely isolated; she is floating, unable to make connections with family, friends, and colleagues. Many mornings she wakes to find a man in her bed with no idea how he got there. Days are spent in a self-created bubble, which both protects her and separates her from others.

The narrative weaves back and forth in time, through Georgette’s childhood in Jamaica to her teenage immersion in Boston and New York nightlife, and into the reclusive silence of her adulthood, of the library. The story’s ambiguities remind the reader that there are not always easy answers for why one person may suffer, and neither are there always identifiable paths to recovery. Although depression and sadness play major roles in Georgette’s life, her first-person voice is intelligent, funny, and capable of both warmth and irony.


Click for more detail about Black Music by Amiri Baraka Black Music

by Amiri Baraka
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The long-awaited reissue (AkashiClassics: Renegade Reprint Series) of the sequel to Amiri Baraka’s seminal work, Blues People.

Written in the 1960's provides a clear picture of where one segment of the modern Negro community stands musically--and socially… It is a valuable statement by a frequently angry, sometimes eloquent and always important writer.


Click for more detail about Black Orchid Blues by Persia Walker Black Orchid Blues

by Persia Walker
Akashic Books (Mar 22, 2011)
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Lanie Price, a 1920s Harlem society columnist, witnesses the brutal nightclub kidnapping of the "Black Orchid," a sultry, seductive singer with a mysterious past. Price, a female 1920s version of Dominick Dunne, soon finds herself elbows-deep in a story in which everyone seems to be either lying or keeping a secret to die for. When hours pass without word from the kidnapper, puzzlement grows as to his motive. Then a gruesome package arrives at Price’s doorstep and the questions change. Just what does this kidnapper want—and how many people is he willing to kill in order to get it?
Evil hides behind the genteel façades of affluent Strivers’ Row and stalks the ballroom of one of Harlem’s most famous gay parties. In a complex plot that keeps you tied to the page, Black Orchid Blues explores the depths of human depravity and the desperation of its victims.
"I fell in love with this book when I saw the cover. The gorgeous black dame with the gat in her hand harks back to the best of pulp fiction, but Black Orchid Blues, a historical novel set in 1920s Harlem, is better than any pulp I ever read. This is the (second) in the series starring journalist/society reporter Lanie Price and it’s simply terrific." —The Globe and Mail


Click for more detail about Boundaries by Elizabeth Nunez Boundaries

by Elizabeth Nunez
Akashic Books (Sep 27, 2011)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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[If] Boundaries, Elizabeth Nunez’s latest novel… seems familiar, that’s because it reflects the current state of affairs [in publishing], which one black novelist recently called “seg-book-gation.” If it also seems outlandish, it’s because of Nunez’s deft straddling of realism and satire… There are many moments of elegant, overarching insight that bind the personal to the collective past..[and the story] flames out in a wickedly gripping climax.
New York Times Book Review, October 9, 2011

“If I wore a hat, I’d tip it to novelist Elizabeth Nunez. I was awestruck by 2000’s Bruised Hibiscus (Seal Press), her American Book Award-winning story about the beautiful friendship of two Trinidadian girls bound by an ugly secret they share… With Boundaries (Akashic Books), her eighth work, the storyteller is in fine form... This time around Nunez sets her sights on the issue of immigrant assimilation... Nunez’s latest effort is timely and provocative—and it’s written with such vivid prose that, despite the bittersweet ending, you’ll step away from this refreshing take on contemporary publishing with a smile.”
—Essence, October 2011

About the Book
In an age of reality TV, a husband and wife cling to Victorian notions of privacy, though doing so threatens the life of the wife. Their daughter Anna yearns for her mother's unguarded affection, and eventually learns there is value in restraint. But Anna, a Caribbean American immigrant, finds that lesson harder to accept when, eager to assimilate in her new country, she discovers that a gap yawns between her and American-born citizens.

The head of a specialized imprint at a major publishing house, Anna is soon challenged for her position by an ambitious upstart who accuses her of not really understanding American culture, particularly African American culture. Her job at stake, Anna turns for advice to her boyfriend Paul, a Caribbean American himself, who attempts to convince her that immigrants must accept limitations on their freedom in America.

Told in spare and transcendent prose, Boundaries is a riveting immigrant story, a fascinating look into the world of contemporary book publishing, a beautiful extension of the exploration of family dynamics that began in Nunez’s previous novel Anna In-Between, and a heartwarming love story.

 


Click for more detail about Bronx Biannual (The Journal of Urbane Urban Literature) by Miles Marshall Lewis Bronx Biannual (The Journal of Urbane Urban Literature)

by Miles Marshall Lewis
Akashic Books (Jun 01, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Bronx Biannual is the most important literary journal in hip-hop America?an intellectual town hall on paper that rejects the cheerleader tone of celebrity-driven urban publications, as well as the highfalutin tone of academic publications.

Miles Marshall Lewis was born in the Bronx in 1970 and currently splits his time between New York City and Paris, France. He is the author of Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don’t Have Bruises (Akashic, 2004), and is a former editor of Vibe and XXL. His work has been published in the Nation, the Source, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Essence, and other magazines.


Click for more detail about Bronx Biannual No. 2 by Miles Marshall Lewis Bronx Biannual No. 2

by Miles Marshall Lewis
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Selwyn Seyfu Hinds, Kenji Jasper, rapper NAS, Danyel Smith, and others provide the savory text in this second issue of the new black-themed literary journal that is drawing comparisons to McSweeney’s and The Paris Review.


Click for more detail about Cake by D  Cake

by
The Armory (Jul 01, 2008)
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Fiction. African American Studies. It’s less than six months after the events of D’s first novel, GOT, and our nameless narrator has vanished off the Brooklyn grid, only to end up in Atlanta. Yet trouble is shadowing him, and he is forced to make a life-or-death decision. Writing since the age of 8, D has never held a legitimate job in his life. His words, however, have appeared in VIBE and other urban publications. An Atlanta native, he currently lives in an ungentrified neighborhood near you.


Click for more detail about Caught Up by Shannon Holmes Caught Up

by Shannon Holmes
Infamous Books (Aug 04, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Holmes…is a noted pioneering street lit author. His smooth-flowing narrative mixes crime, sex, and sassy street language, giving his protagonists a true life-in-the-streets feel. This will more than satisfy serious readers of urban fiction."
—Library Journal (Starred Review, Pick of the Month)

"I read this book in one sitting….It’s a great way to escape and be entertained for a few hours."
—Baltimore Times

"Pure entertainment."
—Hawt Reads

Dixyn Greene has it all. She is a hustler’s wife, the mother of a beautiful daughter, and she owns a town house and a nice car—she’s living the life. But when the feds arrest her man, Dixyn’s whole world begins to crumble. Quickly things go from bad to worse—as the bills begin to mount, her ability to continue to maintain her lavish lifestyle is put to the test. Strapped for cash, her good intentions lead to bad decisions.

Enter Brian Winters, B-Dub, and her one saving grace, or so she initially believes. In Dixyn’s time of need, B-Dub turns out to be no more than an opportunist with his own agenda. Dixyn becomes indebted to him and is forced to do his bidding in order to survive. With B-Dub on her back, she submerges herself into the murky waters of street life and is soon entangled in a web of lust, betrayal, blackmail, and deceit. She ultimately discovers that there are no rules in the game. In the game, loyalty is limited. Trust will get you hurt and love will get you killed.

Infamous Books, curated by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson from the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new. Releases include works by national best sellers JaQuavis Coleman, K’wan, Miasha, Prodigy, and many others forthcoming.


Click for more detail about Changers Book Two: Oryon by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper Changers Book Two: Oryon

by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper
Black Sheep (Apr 07, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Fantastic."
—John Green

"This is an excellent sequel….This installment raises the stakes, making the story not just about physical and emotional transformation, but about survival."
—School Library Journal

"Oryon’s humor and insight will keep readers turning pages."
—Kirkus Reviews

"This series is addicting…as soon as I started reading I was immersed into the book, unable to put it down….The series is just getting better and better."
—I’d So Rather Be Reading

"I really enjoy these books….If you are looking for books—these are great."
—Yellow Porcupines

Praise for Changers Book One: Drew:

"This is more than just a ’message’ book about how we all need to be more understanding of each other. The imaginative premise is wrapped around a moving story about gender, identity, friendship, bravery, rebellion vs. conformity, and thinking outside the box."
—School Library Journal

"Changers should appeal to a broad demographic. Teenagers, after all, are the world’s leading experts on trying on, and then promptly discarding, new identities."
—New York Times

"A thought-provoking exploration of identity, gender, and sexuality…an excellent read for any teens questioning their sense of self or gender."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Part of Akashic’s Black Sheep YA imprint.

Changers Book Two: Oryon in the four-part Changers Series for young adults finds our hero Ethan/Drew on the eve of her second metamorphosis—into Oryon, a skinny African American skater boy with more swagger than he knows what to do with. Enter a mess of trouble from the Changers Council, the closed-minded Abiders, the Radical Changers (RaChas), and his best friend Audrey—at least she was his best friend when Oryon was Drew—and now, it’s complicated.

But that’s life (and life, and life, and life) for Changers, an ancient race of humans who must live out each year of high school as a completely different person. Before next summer, Oryon will learn what it means to be truly loved, scared spitless, and at the center of a burgeoning national culture war. Most of all, he will learn again how much the eyes of the world try to shape you into what they see—and how only when you resist do you clearly begin to see yourself.


Click for more detail about Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean by Peekash Press Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean

by Peekash Press
Akashic Books (Nov 03, 2015)
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With a generous sample from each poet, this anthology is an opportunity to discover some of the best new, unpublished voices from the Caribbean. This is a generation that has absorbed Walcott, Brathwaite, Carter and Lorna Goodison, but has found its own distinctive voices, themes and formal models.


Click for more detail about Conduit (Black Goat) by Khadijah Queen Conduit (Black Goat)

by Khadijah Queen
Akashic Books (Jun 01, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?Khadijah Queen is a poet with stunning intellectual powers. It’s a worthwhile experience to spend such quality time in an inaugural book of poems.” ?Eloise Klein Healy

Khadijah Queen was born near Detroit and raised in LA. A Cave Canem Fellow, navy veteran, and founding member of Red Thread Collective, she currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.


Click for more detail about Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-Itchyfooted Mutha by Melvin Van Peebles Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-Itchyfooted Mutha

by Melvin Van Peebles
Akashic Books (Sep 01, 2009)
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Nearly forty years after breaking his way into public consciousness, the indefatigable godfather of African American cinema presents a graphic novel version of his latest film (of the same name). Beholden to no one but himself, Melvin Van Peebles vividly brings the big screen alive on the printed page in this delicious romp about a soul-searching globetrotter.

The immaculately illustrated, bawdy picaresque details a lonely man’s search for love in all the wrong places—an odyssey of a man ("played" in the film and in the illustrations by Van Peebles) whose restlessness keeps him constantly on the move. Replete with film stills, all-original illustrations, crackling dialogue, and trademark wit (recalling the best of Richard Pryor as funneled through an oversexed Miguel de Cervantes), this madcap adventure reflects an artist-provocateur at the peak of his creative power.

Melvin Van Peebles established his legacy as the iconoclastic founding father of African American cinema from directing, writing, producing, and acting in such groundbreaking films as Watermelon Man (1970) and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971). He has been equally prolific across several media as a novelist, musician, and composer—and, quixotically, was the first African American to hold a seat on the American Stock Exchange. His numerous achievements include the French Legion of Honor, the 1999 Chicago Underground Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, several Tony Award nominations, a Grammy Award nomination, and a Gotham Award from MOMA and the Independent Feature Project in December 2008. He lives in New York City.


Click for more detail about Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani Dance of the Jakaranda

by Peter Kimani
Akashic Books (Feb 07, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Kimani reimagines the rise and fall of colonialism in Africa by telling the story of the birth of Kenya’s railroad.

Set in the shadow of Kenya’s independence from Great Britain, Dance of the Jakaranda reimagines the rise and fall of colonialism, and the special circumstances that brought black, brown, and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of the nation.

The novel traces the lives and loves of three men: preacher Richard Turnbull, the colonial administrator Ian McDonald, and Indian technician Babu Salim, whose lives intersect when they are implicated in the controversial birth of a child. Years later, when Babu’s grandson, Rajan—who ekes out a living by singing Babu’s epic tales of the railway’s construction—accidentally kisses a mysterious stranger in a dark nightclub, the encounter provides the spark to illuminate the three men’s shared, murky past.

Dance of the Jakaranda could well be a story of globalization—not just for its riveting multiracial, multicultural cast—but also due to its diverse literary allusions: from Chekhovian comedy to Kafkasque caricatures, or magical realism popularized by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Yet, the novel is firmly anchored in the African storytelling tradition, its language a dreamy, exalted and earthy mix that creates new thresholds of identity, providing a fresh metaphor for race in contemporary Africa.

“In this racially charged dance of power, the railroad into the interior of the country becomes a journey into the hearts of men and women. It is a dance of love and hate and mixed motives that drive human actions and alter the course of history. Kimani's writing has the clarity of analytic prose and the lyrical tenderness of poetry.”—Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o


Click for more detail about Dog War by Anthony Winkler Dog War

by Anthony Winkler
Akashic Books (Jun 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The new novel from Jamaica’s unrivaled master of comic fiction.


Click for more detail about Drifting by Katia D. Ulysse Drifting

by Katia D. Ulysse
Akashic Books (Jul 01, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"An arresting account of the contemporary Haitian-American experience."
—Publishers Weekly

"This novel in short stories will appeal to readers of literary and Caribbean fiction."
—Library Journal

"Ulysse displaces and redeems her characters with formidable skill, while her precise cuts through all preconceptions….Intense and necessary."
—Booklist

"Humanity is lost and found in these stories…Ulysse has created a fascinating world of class and cultural distinctions; her stories are engaging."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Assimilating qualities of Danticat and Alvarez, Ulysse paints a variegated literary tableau, more sociological than psychological or historical, that translates into fiction the reality, as well as the fragility and vivacity, of life for young Haitian American women of few means."
—World Literature Today

"A superb novel in the form of interconnected short stories that follow Haitian families as they move between time and place, before and after the devastating earthquake of 2010."
—Teaching Tolerance Magazine, Summer 2015 Staff Pick

"Powerful, piercing and unforgiving…Drifting transcends escapism, materialism and gaudy promises…Ulysse’s prosaic brilliance is unmistakable."
—Kaieteur News (Guyana)

"Captivating and honest….This novel is a win-win for anyone who enjoys character development just as much as plot."
—The Review Lab, Columbia College Chicago

"Drifting is an intoxicating account of various short stories by Haitian novelist and literary genius Katia D. Ulysse…highly recommended."
—Black Star News

"Ulysse paints a vivid picture of customs, culture, and experiences. And like the characters, readers are engulfed in a vast array of emotions."
—OOSA Online Book Club

"A good, worthwhile read."
—Book Lust

"Katia D. Ulysse has written an engaging debut novel, Drifting….Drawing on rural Haiti, the class system, Vodou and folklore, Ulysse shows how immigrating to the US, while often seen as the only real option, does not always retain or strengthen families or improve one’s economic station."
—The World is Robert

Katia D. Ulysse’s debut provides the rare opportunity to peer into the private lives of four secretive Haitian families. The interwoven narrative spans four decades—from 1970 through 2010—and drifts among various provinces in Haiti, the United States, churches, vodun temples, schools, strip clubs, and the grave. Ulysse introduces us to a childless Haitian American couple risking it all for a baby to call their own; a Florida-based predatory schoolteacher threatening students with deportation if they expose him; and the unforgettable Monsieur Boursicault, whose chain of funeral parlors makes him the wealthiest man in Haiti. This daring work of fiction is a departure from the standard narrative of political unrest on the island. Ulysse’s characters are everyday people whose hopes for distant success are constantly challenged—but never totally swayed—by the hard realities accompanying the immigrant’s journey.


Click for more detail about eel on reef (Black Goat) by Uche Nduka eel on reef (Black Goat)

by Uche Nduka
Akashic Books (Sep 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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In eel on reef, Uche Nduka challenges every expectation of an African poet. His unique voice is a heady amalgam of Christopher Okigbo, A.R. Ammons, John Ashbery, Kamau Brathwaite, and that which only Nduka can bring.

Uche Nduka was born and raised in Nigeria. His published books include Flower Child, Second Act, and Chiraoscuro (winner of the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize in 1997). He lives in Bremen, Germany.


Click for more detail about Eight New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set by Kwame Dawes Eight New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set

by Kwame Dawes
Akashic Books (Apr 28, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The chapbooks gathered here are almost overflowing with voice….Each of these chapbooks is so worthy of praise and attention that it is not possible to do them justice in the space afforded this review. They deserve, and hopefully will receive, the specific and individual attention of critics and readers, and their authors deserve to enjoy long and noted careers."
—Untucked Magazine

"I’ve been spending time with Eight New-Generation African Poets, a chapbook set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. In particular, I recommend the selection of poems by Vuyelwa Maluleke, full of devastating pronouncements."
—Kenyon Review

This elegant, limited-edition box set features nine chapbooks: eight volumes of poetry, plus an introduction chapbook by editors Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. The eight African poets included are Peter Akinlabi, Viola Allo, Inua Ellams, Janet Kofi-Tsekpo, Liyou Mesfin Libsekal, Amy Lukau, Vuyelwa Maluleke, and Blessing Musariri.

The box set is an annual project of the African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, which seeks to identify the best poetry written by African authors working today, with a special focus on those who have not yet published their first full-length book of poetry.


Click for more detail about Even in Paradise by Elizabeth Nunez Even in Paradise

by Elizabeth Nunez
Akashic Books (Apr 12, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“Nunez has always had the power to get to the essence of what makes human beings take right and wrong turns.”—Edward P. Jones, author of The Known World

Peter Ducksworth, a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry, retires to Barbados, believing he will find an earthly paradise there. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear who hoped "That future strife / May be prevented now." But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing flattery with love, and so does Ducksworth. Feeling snubbed by his youngest daughter, Ducksworth decides that only after he dies will she receive her portion of the land. In the meantime, he gives his two older daughters their portions, ironically setting in motion the very strife he hoped to prevent.

Beautifully written in elegant prose, this is a novel about greed, resentment, jealousy, betrayal, and romantic love, through which Nunez weaves themes of racism and classism in the postcolonial world of the Caribbean, giving us a diverse cast of characters of African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese, and English ancestry.

Elizabeth Nunez is the award-winning author of eight novels and a memoir. Both Boundaries and Anna In-Between were New York Times Editors’ Choices. Anna In-Between won the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award and was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Nunez also received the 2011 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers and Barnes & Noble, and a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award from the Trinidad & Tobago National Library. She is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, CUNY, where she teaches fiction writing.


Click for more detail about Every Boy Should Have a Man by Preston L. Allen Every Boy Should Have a Man

by Preston L. Allen
Akashic Books (May 07, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Nominated for the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Fiction!

A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Fiction Pick for 2013

"Allen’s concise book’s power lies within its understated irony, never more heavy-handed than a preacher’s admonition that ’a world without mans is a world without us all.’ The plain narrative and relationship between boy and female man, rounded out with humor and occasional (sometimes literal) bite, promises to be a sleeper favorite among speculative audiences."
—Publishers Weekly

"Allen…throws caution to the wind with his bizarre but exquisitely composed fable that uses transhumanism as the prism to reflect on the nature of humanity…It’s also intellectually curious and rather cutting in many of its conceptual and cultural assessments. It’s a world where man is not only pet, but also meat, where religion, wars and empires are just as backward as they are in our own world, and where worlds collide with a temperamental angst that is as uncomfortable as it is alluring. Much like Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel Planet of the Apes, this novel is a sardonic parable on the nature and destiny of the species. A nimble fable whose bold narrative experiment is elevated by its near-biblical language and affectionate embrace of our inherent flaws."
—Kirkus Reviews

"An imaginative and honest epic, weaving together biblical stories, fantasy, poetry, and fairy tales with a touch of realism…Allen asks us to question the assumptions, -isms, and contradictions of the modern world…Recalling the humanitarian concerns of Octavia Butler’s Fledgling and the poetry of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, this book will appeal to readers of literary fiction and fantasy."
—Library Journal

"Imaginative, versatile, and daring Allen (Jesus Boy, 2010) raids the realms of myth and fairy tales in this topsy-turvy speculative fable….With canny improvisations on ’Jack and the Beanstalk,’ the ’Epic of Gilgamesh,’ and Alice in Wonderland, Allen sharpens our perceptions of class divides, racism, enslavement, and abrupt and devastating climate change to create a delectably adventurous, wily, funny, and wise cautionary parable."
—Booklist

"There’s no doubt this is an original story and one you should read."
—Book Sp(l)ot Reviews

"From this point forward, readers consulting any reference work addressing the concept of tour de force will find there a citation of Preston L. Allen’s Every Boy Should Have a Man. It is one thing to devise a fable dealing so adroitly with such concepts as racism, war, religion, and the very nature of civilization itself, but Preston’s true triumph is the infusion of each page and every astonishing episode with palpable emotional resonance."
—Les Standiford, author of Desperate Sons

A riveting, poignant satire of societal ills with an added dose of fantasy, Every Boy Should Have a Man takes place in a post-human world where creatures called oafs keep humanlike "mans" as beloved pets. One day, a poor boy oaf brings home a man whom he hides under his bed in the hopes his parents won’t find out.

With echoes of Margaret Atwood and Jack and the Beanstalk, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Octavia Butler’s Kindred, this is a picaresque journey into uncharted territory in earth, sky, and firmament.

Oafs and mans each gain insight and understanding into one another’s worlds, and the worlds that touch theirs?ultimately showing that oafs and mans alike share a common "humanity." Filled with surprising twists and turns, the novel is in part a morality tale that takes on many of today’s issues, including poverty, the environment, sexism, racism, war, and religion, all in lighthearted King James prose.


Click for more detail about Frederick Douglass in Brooklyn by Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass in Brooklyn

by Frederick Douglass
Akashic Books (Jan 03, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A fascinating collection of Frederick Douglass’s controversial speeches in Brooklyn, N.Y., this volume compiles original source material that illustrates the relationship between the abolitionist and the then city of Brooklyn."
—Publishers Weekly, Fall 2016 Announcements

"It is my hope that this book will introduce Frederick Douglass to a generation that could benefit from the example of his clarity of purpose and moral vision, as well as his relationship to the Borough of Brooklyn."
—Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

"Theodore Hamm simultaneously engages scholars of history, politics, and New York City in his well-edited and carefully crafted selection of Frederick Douglass’s speeches in Brooklyn. Many of the questions raised by Douglass are still relevant today. What will be the fate of black people living in the US? Do places like Brooklyn serve as incubators of injustice—or promise a better future—for people of color? This is an insightful and invaluable book for anyone interested in race, ethnicity, cities, injustice, and the quest for equality."
—Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University and columnist, The Amsterdam News

This volume compiles original source material that illustrates the relationship between the abolitionist and Brooklyn. Most prominent are the speeches Douglass gave at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Plymouth Church, and other leading Brooklyn institutions. Whether discussing the politics of the Civil War or recounting his relationships with his friends Abraham Lincoln and John Brown, Douglass’s towering voice sounds anything but dated.

The volume also provides a healthy sampling of clippings from newspapers, including the New York Tribune, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and the Brooklyn Daily Times, which published Walt Whitman’s account of Douglass’s 1859 speech in Williamsburg. An introductory essay examines the intricate ties between Douglass and Brooklyn abolitionists, while brief chapter introductions and annotations fill in the historical blanks.


Click for more detail about Game World by Christopher John Farley Game World

by Christopher John Farley
Black Sheep (Feb 04, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The Narnia for the Social Media Generation."
—The Wall Street Journal

"Drawn from both video gaming culture and the rich tapestry of Jamaican myth and folklore, blending pointed social satire and mystical philosophy, this exuberant, original hero’s journey is a real trip…Exhilarating, thought-provoking and one of a kind."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Adult author/Wall Street Journal editor Farley’s middle-grade debut draws from Jamaican mythology and beliefs, as well as from other cultures, to weave a fast-paced, whimsical mixture of magic and action…the setting lends itself well to memorable imagery and a fun experience."
—Publishers Weekly

"Farley blends video gaming and Jamaican folklore in this intense, fast-paced middle-grade fantasy that is sure to quickly grab readers."
—Booklist

"Here (finally!) is a middle-grade action novel that showcases West Indian mythology and features protagonists of color."
—School Library Journal

"Game World is unique in that its fantasy world, as its name suggests, is built upon characters and stories from actual Jamaican folklore."
—Philadelphia Review of Books

One of This Spring’s Hottest Teen Books, Huffington Post

"I found it very hard to set down this excellent novel and do something else without thinking about it….I highly recommend his book to fans of fantasy. Because you will love it!!"
—Middle Shelf (reviewed by Teak, age 13)

"Farley writes in a straightforward way that is both accessible to younger readers but still interesting to adults."
—Persephone Magazine

"In his metaphorical world, Farley spares neither the dubious machinations of high finance nor the heartbreak of an orphan."
—Center for Fiction

"I highly recommend Game World for kids in 4th-12th grade. Parents can read it too and love the characters and story just as much as the kids."
—The Family Coach

"Game World is more of a good old-fashioned fantasy adventure than I expected—and I loved it for that. You don’t have to be an expert gamer to enjoy this book."
—Kidsmomo

"A mixture of fantasy, reality, Jamaican folklore, and history. A great read for all, we love it! My kids and I can relate to the themes and characters in this wonderful adventure. Finally! Thank you, C.J. Farley!”
—Ziggy Marley

Dylan Rudee’s life is an epic fail. He’s bullied at school and the aunt who has raised him since he was orphaned as a child just lost her job and their apartment. Dylan’s one chance to help his family is the only thing he’s good at: video games. The multibillion-dollar company Mee Corp. has announced a televised tournament to find the Game-Changers: the forty-four kids who are the best in the world at playing Xamaica, a role-playing fantasy game that’s sweeping the planet. If Dylan can win the top prize, he just might be able to change his life.

It turns out that Dylan is the greatest gamer anyone has ever seen, and his skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside the game. Now actual monsters are trying to kill him, and he is swept up into an adventure along with his too-tall genius sister Emma, his hacker best friend Eli, and Ines Mee, the privileged daughter of Mee Corp.’s mysterious CEO and chief inventor. Along the way they encounter Nestuh, a giant spider who can spin a story but not a web; Baron Zonip, a hummingbird king who rules a wildly wealthy treetop kingdom; and an enchantress named Nanni who, with her shadow army, may be bent on conquering Xamaica and stealing its magic.

In order to save his sister and his friends, Dylan must solve a dangerous mystery in three days and uncover secrets about Xamaica, his family, and himself. But will he discover his hidden powers before two worlds—Xamaica and Earth—are completely destroyed?


Click for more detail about Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden Gathering of Waters

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (Jan 31, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Selected as a Go On Girl! Book Pick

?100 Notable Books of 2012” ?New York Times
?50 Best Books of 2012” ?Washington Post

"McFadden works a kind of miracle — not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life . . . The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits."
—New York Times Book Review

"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness."
—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR

"McFadden combines events of Biblical proportions—from flooding to resurrection—with history to create a cautionary, redemptive tale that spans the early twentieth century to the start of Hurricane Katrina. She compellingly invites readers to consider the distinctions between ’truth or fantasy’ . . . In McFadden’s boldly spun yarn, consequences extend across time and place. This is an arresting historical portrait of Southern life with reimagined outcomes, suggesting that hope in the enduring power of memory can offer healing where justice does not suffice."
—Publishers Weekly

"The rich text is shaped by the African American storytelling tradition and layered with significant American histories. Recalling the woven spirituality of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, this work will appeal to readers of mystic literature."
—Library Journal

"McFadden makes powerful use of imagery in this fantastical novel of ever-flowing waters and troubled spirits."
—Booklist

"In this fierce reimagining, the actual town of Money, MS narrates the story about the ghost of Emmett Till and his from-the-other-side reunification with the girl he loved as a child in Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden."
—Ebony Magazine

Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi—a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till’s spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town’s families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism—both disturbing and riveting—combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.


Click for more detail about Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden Gathering of Waters

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (Jan 31, 2012)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Selected as a Go On Girl! Book Pick

?100 Notable Books of 2012” ?New York Times
?50 Best Books of 2012” ?Washington Post

"McFadden works a kind of miracle — not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life . . . The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits."
—New York Times Book Review

"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness."
—Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR

"McFadden combines events of Biblical proportions—from flooding to resurrection—with history to create a cautionary, redemptive tale that spans the early twentieth century to the start of Hurricane Katrina. She compellingly invites readers to consider the distinctions between ’truth or fantasy’ . . . In McFadden’s boldly spun yarn, consequences extend across time and place. This is an arresting historical portrait of Southern life with reimagined outcomes, suggesting that hope in the enduring power of memory can offer healing where justice does not suffice."
—Publishers Weekly

"The rich text is shaped by the African American storytelling tradition and layered with significant American histories. Recalling the woven spirituality of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, this work will appeal to readers of mystic literature."
—Library Journal

"McFadden makes powerful use of imagery in this fantastical novel of ever-flowing waters and troubled spirits."
—Booklist

"In this fierce reimagining, the actual town of Money, MS narrates the story about the ghost of Emmett Till and his from-the-other-side reunification with the girl he loved as a child in Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden."
—Ebony Magazine

Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi—a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.

Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.

Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till’s spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.

Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town’s families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism—both disturbing and riveting—combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s Beloved.


Click for more detail about Getting It Right by Karen E. Osborne Getting It Right

by Karen E. Osborne
Open Lens (Jun 06, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Getting It Right is the story of Kara and Alex, half-sisters who have never met, one the product of an abusive foster-care setting, the other of dysfunctional privilege. The novel is set in Harlem, the Bronx, and the wealthy community of Bedford, New York, during two weeks in March.

Haunted by crippling memories, Kara falls for the wrong men, tries to help her foster-care siblings suffering from PTSD, and longs for the father and half-sister she only knows from a photograph. Alex, meanwhile, struggles to keep her younger sisters out of trouble, her mother sane, and her marketing business afloat. Now she has a new responsibility: from his hospital bed, her father tasks Alex with finding Kara, the mixed-race child he abandoned. Alex is stunned to learn of Kara’s existence but reluctantly agrees.

To make things more complicated, Kara loves a married man whom the FBI is pursuing for insider trading. When Alex eventually finds her half-sister, she becomes embroiled in Kara’s dangers, which threaten to drag them both down. If Kara doesn’t help the FBI, she could face prosecution and possible incarceration, and if Alex can’t persuade Kara to meet their father, she will let him down during the final days of his life.

This novel explores grit and resilience, evolving definitions of race and family, and the ultimate power of redemption and forgiveness.


Click for more detail about Globetrotter & Hitler’s Children (Black Goat) by Amatoritsero Ede Globetrotter & Hitler’s Children (Black Goat)

by Amatoritsero Ede
Akashic Books (Aug 01, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?A startling new voice in Canadian letters.” ?Olive Senior, author of Shell

"Ede has the warmth of William Carlos Williams and the analytical power of Malcolm X.”?George Elliott Clarke, author of George & Rue

Amatoritsero Ede was born in Nigeria and has won various awards for his poetry. He lives in Canada.


Click for more detail about Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden Glorious

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (May 01, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The seeming inevitability of cruel fate juxtaposes the triumph of the spirit in this remarkably rich and powerful novel, Glorious. Bernice McFadden’s fully realized characters are complicated, imperfect beings, but if ever a character were worthy of love and honor, it is her Easter Bartlett. This very American story is fascinating; it is also heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and beautifully written."?Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route

"Riveting. . . . I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes.”?Toni Morrison, on The Warmest December

>Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden’s rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.

Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption.

aBernice L. McFadden is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including the classic Sugar and Nowhere Is a Place, which was a Washington Post best fiction title for 2006. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honors from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is working on her next novel.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Go De Rass To Sleep: (A Jamaican Translation) by Adam Mansbach Go De Rass To Sleep: (A Jamaican Translation)

by Adam Mansbach
Akashic Books (Jun 10, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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The best-selling Go the F*** to Sleep has been translated into over thirty languages worldwide. Now it is finally translated for Jamaican and other Caribbean parents of the world. Given how many West Indians live in the US and Canada, the market for this book should be broad, but focused mainly on areas with a large Caribbean community.

Go de Rass to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar—and unspoken—tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.

With illustrations by Ricardo Cortés, Go de Rass to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny—a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.


Click for more detail about God Carlos by Anthony C. Winkler God Carlos

by Anthony C. Winkler
Akashic Books (Sep 04, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A Finalist for the 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction!

God Carlos has been long-listed for the OMC Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in Trinidad.

"A gusty, boisterous, and entertaining slice of historical fiction. In scenes of a mixture of pride, madness, and comedy, Carlos plays out his role as deity among the naked islanders, living a fantasy that most readers will find believable, if horrific. Along with the horror, the book does offer some beautiful moments of discovery, as when, as Winkler narrates, the ship takes the Mona Passage to Jamaica…we hear of an Edenic island, green and aromatic, opened like a wildflower. For all of its scenes of braggadocio and brutality, the book often works on you like that vision."
—Alan Cheuse, NPR, All Things Considered

"Readers are transported to Jamaica, into Winkler’s richly invented 16th century, where his flawless prose paints their slice of time, in turn both brutally graphic and lyrically gorgeous. Comic, tragic, bawdy, sad, and provocative, this is a thoroughly engaging adventure story from a renowned Jamaican author, sure to enchant readers who treasure a fabulous tale exquisitely rendered."
—Library Journal

"A tale of the frequently tragic—and also comic—clash of races and religions brought on by colonization…Anthony Winkler spins an enlightened parable, rich in historical detail and irony."
—Shelf Awareness

"Darkly irreverent…With a sharp tongue, Winkler, a native of Jamaica, deftly imbues this blackly funny satire with an exposé of colonialism’s avarice and futility."
—Publishers Weekly

"With perceptive storytelling and bracing honesty, Mr. Winkler, author of a half-dozen well-reviewed books, has a lovely way of telling a good story and educating concurrently…God Carlos teaches history in a subtle but meaningful way. Too literary to be lumped in with typical historical fiction, and too historical to be lumped in with typical literary fiction, God Carlos defies categorization."
—New York Journal of Books

"God Carlos provides a welcome opportunity to glimpse…the lives of ordinary people, both European and Caribbean, as they experience the calamitous effects of the encounter of two worlds."
—Sargasso: A Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, & Culture

"The author’s piercing narrative drives home…Here, Winkler’s brilliance as a storyteller is unmistakable…God Carlos is a literary tour de force—atmospheric and incisive. It effuses raw emotion—perplexing, bewildering, and dark…On multiple levels, Winkler proves his salt as a genuine raconteur…the architect of an invaluable literary work."
—The Jamaica Gleaner

"Well-written…Winkler’s descriptions of sea and sky as seen from a sailing ship, and of the physical beauty of Jamaica, are spot-on and breathtaking."
—Historical Novel Review

"In God Carlos and The Family Mansion, Anthony Winkler, the master storyteller, has provided us with texts of both narrative quality and historical substance that should find place in the annals of Caribbean literature."
—SX Salon

God Carlos transports us to a voyage aboard the Santa Inez, a Spanish sailing vessel bound for the newly discovered West Indies with a fortune-seeking band of ragtag sailors. She is an unusual explorer for her day, carrying no provisions for the settlers, no seed for planting crops, manned by vain, arrogant men looking for gold in Jamaica.

Expecting to make landfall in paradise after over a month at sea, the crew of the Santa Inez instead find themselves in the middle of a timid, innocent people—the Arawaks—who walk around stark naked without embarrassment and who venerate their own customs and worship their own Gods and creeds. The European newcomers do not find gold, only the merciless climate that nourishes diseases that slaughter them. That the Arawaks believed that the arrivals were from heaven makes even more complicated this impossible entanglement of culture, custom, and beliefs, ultimately leading to mutual doom.


Click for more detail about Gomer’s Song by Kwame Dawes Gomer’s Song

by Kwame Dawes
Black Goat (Sep 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Award-winning Kwame Dawes explores the insidious nature of power and the limits of protest.


Click for more detail about Got (Seven Weapon Arsenal) by D  Got (Seven Weapon Arsenal)

by
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"There’s a new player stepping into the street-lit spotlight, and he’s one to watch…Urban libraries have to get Got."
—Library Journal (starred review)

"A gritty, streetwise debut [with] solid writing and unrelenting, brutal detail…The first release from The Armory, a new imprint showcasing modern urban noir, is sure to appeal to the audience that has make Akashic’s city-themed anthology series (Brooklyn Noir, etc.) a hit."
—Publishers Weekly

"Packed with a rare combination of drama and class, Got has all the elements of an urban classic in the vein of Carlito’s Way and Bodega Dreams. Let the poseurs beware: In his first time out, D doesn’t just raise the bar on street lit, he broke the damn thing!"
—Black Artemis, author of Picture Me Rollin’

"Like the work of Iceberg Slim, it’s ultimately about the search for self in a soulless place."
—Tim McLoughlin, award-winning author of Heart of the Old Country

"Got is like a dope hip-hop song. It mixes the swagger of Jay-Z, the rhythm of DJ Premier, the street intellect of Rakim, an the storytelling skills of 2pac. It’s the street fiction we’ve all been waiting for."
—Backlist.com

A selection of Kenji Jasper’s street-lit imprint, The Armory.

There’s a young man living in the infamous Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He is an orphaned college student trying to get through his sophomore year at age twenty-three, years behind the traditional undergraduates. His two best friends, Will and Chief, are an ex-drug dealer and a computer hacker. And his boss, Tony Star, is the most dangerous man in Brooklyn, an arch-criminal with enterprises legal and illegal across New York City and beyond.

Our young man’s job is to pick up the weekly take from Star’s establishments and deliver it to him at the end of a night. It’s one day’s work a week for the kind of pay the fortunate get in a year. The money covers his tuition and the small apartment he rents in Crown Heights. Life is simple. And simple means good.

Then, everything falls out of balance. Someone decides to rob him for the week’s take, and leave him for dead. His boss, being generous, gives him until the end of the night to recover what’s been stolen. But as the night moves forward and people start dying, this young man begins to learn the hard way that his chosen way of life is nothing but an illusion.


Click for more detail about H.N.I.C. by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson H.N.I.C.

by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson
Infamous Books (Jul 09, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A gritty, fast-paced tale of revenge…Tight, terse prose harkens back to pulp fiction of the 1950s…The work is a breath of fresh air from lengthy, trying-too-hard-to-shock street lit and is an excellent choice for all metropolitan collections."
—Library Journal (starred review, Pick of the Month)

"The urban setting is unnamed but familiar in this brief, bloody tale of wasted lives lived short and hard."
—Publishers Weekly

"Simultaneously a fast-paced crime drama and an engrossing, unsentimental moral tale, H.N.I.C. peers into the dark heart that underpins the codes of loyalty and friendship, betrayal and vengeance."
—Brooklyn Daily Eagle

"In a genre that too often places incorrect ebonics in the mouths of black characters and fails to cross the empathy gap to get into their heads, Savile and Prodigy arrive at a seamless voice that is a refreshing take on crime fiction tropes…if tone and texture are what you’re looking for in your hardcore literature…H.N.I.C. delivers the goods."
—Okayplayer

"H.N.I.C. is written by Prodigy himself and shows the extent to which good rappers can make good storytellers."
—Brooklyn Based

"Ultimately, H.N.I.C. deals on all the right levels and is completely satisfying."
—Blackout Book Review

"If you don’t have this novella in your library collection already, please be on the lookout for this 2013 release, H.N.I.C., penned by Hip Hop artist Prodigy of the group, Mobb Deep."
—StreetLiterature.com

"The strength of this novella, in addition to its straightforward prose and rapid pacing, rests on the universal theme at its center: loyalty. Loyalty and the bullshit our friends put us through…Like any good work of crime, H.N.I.C. is grounded in such common experiences and, like any good work of crime, it speaks to all of us, despite the fact that very few of us can bypass an alarm system through some computer trickery."
—Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together

"It tells the…urban tale of deceit, greed and questioned loyalty with just enough drama to keep you turning the pages."
—Literary Jewels

"A brutal and quick read…custom-made for the big screen."
—Charles Tatum’s Review Archive

Prodigy, from the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, launches Akashic’s new Infamous Books imprint with a story of loyalty, vengeance, and greed.

Pappy tries to break out of the game before the head of his crew, Black, gets them all killed. Against his better judgment Pappy agrees to do one last job, but only because it’s the price of his freedom. He knows his "brother" Black would rather see him dead than let him walk away. Yet he still agrees to do the job because Black isn’t the only one who can’t be trusted.

Further developing the stark realism and uncompromising streetwise narratives of his lyrics, H.N.I.C. cements Prodigy’s position as one of the foremost chroniclers of contemporary urban life. Simultaneously a fast-paced crime drama and an engrossing, unsentimental moral tale, H.N.I.C. peers into the dark heart that underpins the codes of loyalty and friendship, betrayal and vengeance.

With H.N.I.C., Prodigy inaugurates Infamous Books, a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new.


Click for more detail about H.N.I.C. by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson H.N.I.C.

by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson
Infamous Books (Jul 16, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"A gritty, fast-paced tale of revenge…Tight, terse prose harkens back to pulp fiction of the 1950s…The work is a breath of fresh air from lengthy, trying-too-hard-to-shock street lit and is an excellent choice for all metropolitan collections."
—Library Journal (starred review, Pick of the Month)

"The urban setting is unnamed but familiar in this brief, bloody tale of wasted lives lived short and hard."
—Publishers Weekly

"Simultaneously a fast-paced crime drama and an engrossing, unsentimental moral tale, H.N.I.C. peers into the dark heart that underpins the codes of loyalty and friendship, betrayal and vengeance."
—Brooklyn Daily Eagle

"In a genre that too often places incorrect ebonics in the mouths of black characters and fails to cross the empathy gap to get into their heads, Savile and Prodigy arrive at a seamless voice that is a refreshing take on crime fiction tropes…if tone and texture are what you’re looking for in your hardcore literature…H.N.I.C. delivers the goods."
—Okayplayer

"H.N.I.C. is written by Prodigy himself and shows the extent to which good rappers can make good storytellers."
—Brooklyn Based

"Ultimately, H.N.I.C. deals on all the right levels and is completely satisfying."
—Blackout Book Review

"If you don’t have this novella in your library collection already, please be on the lookout for this 2013 release, H.N.I.C., penned by Hip Hop artist Prodigy of the group, Mobb Deep."
—StreetLiterature.com

"The strength of this novella, in addition to its straightforward prose and rapid pacing, rests on the universal theme at its center: loyalty. Loyalty and the bullshit our friends put us through…Like any good work of crime, H.N.I.C. is grounded in such common experiences and, like any good work of crime, it speaks to all of us, despite the fact that very few of us can bypass an alarm system through some computer trickery."
—Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together

"It tells the…urban tale of deceit, greed and questioned loyalty with just enough drama to keep you turning the pages."
—Literary Jewels

"A brutal and quick read…custom-made for the big screen."
—Charles Tatum’s Review Archive

Prodigy, from the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, launches Akashic’s new Infamous Books imprint with a story of loyalty, vengeance, and greed.

Pappy tries to break out of the game before the head of his crew, Black, gets them all killed. Against his better judgment Pappy agrees to do one last job, but only because it’s the price of his freedom. He knows his "brother" Black would rather see him dead than let him walk away. Yet he still agrees to do the job because Black isn’t the only one who can’t be trusted.

Further developing the stark realism and uncompromising streetwise narratives of his lyrics, H.N.I.C. cements Prodigy’s position as one of the foremost chroniclers of contemporary urban life. Simultaneously a fast-paced crime drama and an engrossing, unsentimental moral tale, H.N.I.C. peers into the dark heart that underpins the codes of loyalty and friendship, betrayal and vengeance.

With H.N.I.C., Prodigy inaugurates Infamous Books, a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new.


Click for more detail about Haiti Noir by Edwidge Danticat Haiti Noir

by Edwidge Danticat
Akashic Books (Dec 07, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A wide-ranging collection from the beloved but besieged Caribbean island…The 36th entry in Akashic’s Noir series (which ranges from Bronx to Delhi to Twin Cities) is beautifully edited, with a spectrum of voices."
—Kirkus Reviews

"This anthology will give American readers a complex and nuanced portrait of the real Haiti not seen on the evening news and introduce them to some original and wonderful writers."
—Library Journal

"Danticat has succeeded in assembling a group portrait of Haitian culture and resilience that is cause for celebration."
—Publishers Weekly

"A solid contribution to the [noir] series, especially for its showcasing of a setting not commonly portrayed in crime fiction."
—Booklist

"Danticat has put together a collection possessing classic noir elements—crimes and criminals and evil deeds only sometimes punished—but also something else, perhaps uniquely Haitian too."
—Los Angeles Times

"The characters that emerge in the anthology are divergent figures, alienated by exile, thriving in the diaspora and devastated by limited choices. Their stories are multi-layered, thrilling and necessary."
—Ms. Magazine

"Who can ever judge how important Danticat has been to Americans’ understanding and re-evaluating Haiti’s position and role in the hemisphere? Not just as a novelist and essayist in her own right, but as editor and guiding force behind this collection of short stories and the re-publication and English translation of the Chauvet triptych, the Haitian-born Danticat has brought her country’s literature back into the world of English-speakers. Filled with delights and surprises, Haiti Noir, taken as a whole, provides a profound portrait of the country, from its crises to its triumphs, from the tiny bouks of the countryside to the shanties of the sprawling bidonvilles. Danticat herself has a lovely story in the collection, and permits two distinguished foreign writers on Haiti, Madison Smartt Bell and Mark Kurlansky, to slide in there among all the brilliant Haitians."
—Daily Beast

"Haiti Noir…showcases the diversity, humour, beauty and originality of ’Haitian’ writing."
—Wasafiri (UK)

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Edwidge Danticat, Rodney Saint-Éloi, Madison Smartt Bell, Gary Victor, M.J. Fievre, Mark Kurlansky, Marvin Victor, Josaphat-Robert Large, Marie Lily Cerat, Yanick Lahens, Louis-Philipe Dalembert, Kettly Mars, Marie Ketsia Theodore-Pharel, Evelyne Trouillot, Katia D. Ulysse, Ibi Aanu Zoboi, Nadine Pinede, and Patrick Sylvain.

From the introduction by Edwidge Danticat:

"I began working on this anthology about a year before January 12, 2010, when Haiti was struck by its worst natural disaster in over two hundred years. The world knows now that more than two hundred thousand people died and over a million lost their homes in Haiti’s capital and the surrounding cities of Léogâne, Petit?Goâve, and Jacmel. As I am writing these words, survivors remain huddled by the thousands in displacement camps, most shielding themselves from intermittent rain with nothing but wooden posts and bedsheets.

Even before the earthquake, life was not easy in Haiti. There was always the risk of dying from hunger, an infectious disease, a natural disaster, or a crime. But there was also hope, laughter, and boundless creativity. Haitian creativity has always been one of the country’s most identifiable survival traits. Whether expressed in vibrant and colorful paintings, double entendre—filled spiritual or party music, or the poignant, humorous, erotic, lyrical (and yes, also dark) short stories and novels of its writers, Haiti’s more nuanced and complex face often comes across in its arts…

I can honestly say that, in spite of the difficult circumstances in Haiti right now, I have never felt a greater sense of joy working on any collective project than I have on this book."


Click for more detail about Haiti Noir 2: The Classics by Edwidge Danticat Haiti Noir 2: The Classics

by Edwidge Danticat
Akashic Books (Jan 07, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Edwidge Danticat’s short story from Haiti Noir 2: The Classics, "The Port-au-Prince Marriage Special," was included in Ms. Magazine’s Fall 2013 issue.

"A worthy sequel that skillfully uses a popular genre to help us better understand an often frustratingly complex and indecipherable society."
—Miami Herald

"There is danger and regret and fear in these stories, as characters try to negotiate a complex and often confounding land."
—Miami Herald, Feature on Haiti Noir 2 Miami launch

"Presents an excellent array of writers, primarily Haitian, whose graphic descriptions portray a country ravaged by corruption, crime, and mystery….This selection of Haitian classics is a must read for everyone."
—The Caribbean Writer

"Just when you thought you have read it all and have experienced the best of literary brilliance, there comes along an unrivaled work of narrative intensity, penned with a spellbinding authenticity. Haiti Noir 2 is just that work of art….A rare gem."
—Kaieteur News Online

"Quite a collection…a multi-generational tour of Haiti’s literature…It makes you feel as if some things out to have Part twos."
—Kreyolicious

"This is a great collection of stories set in Haiti."
—Book Nerd

Praise for the original Haiti Noir:

"Danticat has succeeded in assembling a group portrait of Haitian culture and resilience that is cause for celebration."
—Publishers Weekly

"This anthology will give American readers a complex and nuanced portrait of the real Haiti not seen on the evening news and introduce them to some original and wonderful writers."
—Library Journal

"While the publisher defines the term ’noir’ broadly—requiring sinister tales or crime stories that evoke a strong sense of place and do not have happy endings—the Haiti book offers its own spin with plenty of grisly crime, dire poverty, and references to magic and religion. There is also some tenderness."
—New York Times

Launched with the summer ’04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Classic stories by: Danielle Legros Georges, Jacques Roumain, Ida Faubert, Jacques-Stephen Alexis, Jan J. Dominique, Paulette Poujol Oriol, Lyonel Trouillot, Emmelie Prophète, Ben Fountain, Dany Laferrière, Georges Anglade, Edwidge Danticat, Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, Èzili Dantò, Marie-Hélène Laforest, Nick Stone, Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell, Myriam J.A. Chancey, and Roxane Gay.

From the introduction by Edwidge Danticat:

"How often are you asked to put together an amazing literary party? In my case, a mind-blowing two times. The lit party of my dreams has been Haiti Noir, and lo and behold, I get asked to do it again…After the first Haiti Noir was published, people kept asking if I wasn’t contributing to a negative image of the country by editing a book filled with so many ’dark’ stories about Haiti. My answer was, and remains, that showing the brilliance of our writers and their ability to address Haiti’s difficulties through their art can only contribute to a more nuanced and complex presentation of Haitian lives. After all, the writers here are not Haiti virgins, to paraphrase from ’Heading South,’ Dany Laferrière’s story, included here, of sex tourism gone wrong. They are all old hats, either by blood or their deep love for Haiti…This is not just a party, folks, but also a costume party, a noir party. The author of each story, poem, or novel excerpt has shed his or her skin and has sunk into the deepest and most revealing places of the human heart."


Click for more detail about Home: Social Essays (Renegade Reprint Series) by Amiri Baraka Home: Social Essays (Renegade Reprint Series)

by Amiri Baraka
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?Jones/Baraka usually speaks as a Negro?and always as an American. He is eloquent, he is bold. He demands rights?not conditional favors.”?The New York Times Book Review

In 2007, Akashic Books ushered Amiri Baraka back into the forefront of America’s literary consciousness with the short story collection Tales of the Out & the Gone. This reissue features a highly provocative and profoundly insightful collection of 1960s social and political essays.

LeRoi Jones (now known as Amiri Baraka) is the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey by the New Jersey Commission on Humanities, from 2002?2004. His most recent book, Tales of the Out & the Gone (Akashic Books, 2007), was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He lives in Newark, New Jersey.


Click for more detail about I Love You Too by Ziggy Marley I Love You Too

by Ziggy Marley
Akashic Books (Apr 15, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"Ziggy Marley in Concert" was awarded a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album!

"A sweetly affectionate ode to togetherness and love."
—Publishers Weekly

"Lyrics inspired by an exchange with Marley’s 3-year-old daughter are set to bright paintings of a multicultural cast of children and adults enjoying each other’s company indoors and out…The art will draw and hold young children’s attention."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Sure to be a hit at bedtime, the lyrical story conveys the sweet, soothing, and affirming message."
—School Library Journal

"The emphasis of this book is that love has no boundaries."
—New York Journal of Books

"This looks to be on our home charts for weeks, months, maybe even years."
—Austin Chronicle

"An inspiring storybook edition of the lyrics of famous reggae performer Ziggy Marley…song lyrics are surrounded and set in warm, vivid illustrations of children of many hues, laughing and playing with loving parents and grandparents in a healthy, light, balanced natural world."
—Midwest Book Review

"Orly Marley, 42, adores the tale husband Ziggy wrote for daughter Judah, 9."
—US Weekly, Objects of Affection mention

"The illustrations are simply stunning…But even more than the gorgeous illustrations is the wonderful message that this book conveys—that families and friends will always love each other."
—The Mama Games

Released simultaneously with Ziggy Marley’s new album, Fly Rasta.

A debut children’s book by reggae icon Ziggy Marley with illustrations by Ag Jatkowska.

A beautifully illustrated, multicultural children’s picture book based on one of Ziggy Marley’s most beloved songs, "I Love You Too." The book explores a child’s relationship with parents, nature, and the unstoppable force of love. This is Ziggy’s first book, though his foray into children’s music is extensive and very well known. He is the singer of "Believe in Yourself," the popular theme song of the hit TV show, Arthur.

From the introduction by Ziggy Marley:

"One day I was in my kitchen making breakfast with my then three-year-old daughter Judah. She looked at me and said, ’I love you.’ I spontaneously replied to her, ’I love you too.’ From that came the song and now the book based on the lyrics. I hope you share and enjoy this with your loved ones as I have with mine. I love you too."

*A coproduction of Akashic Books and Tuff Gong Worldwide


Click for more detail about Iron Balloons: Fiction from Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop by Colin Channer Iron Balloons: Fiction from Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop

by Colin Channer
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2006)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Reggae’s rebel spirit blazes in this hot selection of short fiction from Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop. Set in the Caribbean and the U.S.A., the stories sweep across a range of moods and genres to create a narrative LP of fascinating voices. From the old lady who gives a "how to" speech on beating children, to the schizophrenic singer who thinks he’s Bob Marley, to the hotel maid who gets a sexual offer that she can’t refuse, the diverse mix of characters are linked by the fundamental principle that all cliched conventions must be shouted off the page. In the proudly odd tradition of Jamaican music, the selections seek to entertain while asking daring questions that provoke new ideas into being.

Contributors include: Colin Channer, Elizabeth Nunez, Marlon James, Kwame Dawes, Kaylie Jones, Geoffrey Philp, Rudolph Wallace, Konrad Kirlew, Alwin Bully, A-dZiko Simba, and Sharon Leach.


Click for more detail about Jesus Boy by Preston L. Allen Jesus Boy

by Preston L. Allen
Akashic Books (Apr 01, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Allen has created a consummate tragicomedy of African Americanfamily secrets and sorrows, and of faith under duress and wide open to interpretation. Perfect timing andcrackling dialogue, as well as heartrending pain balanced by uproarious predicaments, make for a shout-hallelujah tale of transgression and grace, a gospel of lusty and everlasting love."
—Booklist

?Like Dostoyevsky, Allen colorfully evokes the gambling milieu?the chained (mis)fortunes of the players, their vanities and grotesqueries, their quasi-philosophical ruminations on chance. Like Burroughs, he is a dispassionate chronicler of the addict’s daily ritual, neither glorifying nor vilifying the matter at hand.”
—The New York Times Book Review, on All or Nothing

Into an austere community of Christian believers at the Church of Our Blessed Redeemer Who Walked Upon the Waters come the star-crossed African American Romeo and Juliet. In the world of Jesus Boy, Romeo is sixteen-year-old Elwyn Parker, a devout and sincere piano prodigy who learns too late that the saintly girl he has had a crush on all his life is inexplicably pregnant and soon to be wed. Juliet is the beautiful widow, Sister Morrisohn, age forty-two, who, in the pain and confused emotions of her grieving, ends up in Elwyn’s arms.

Despite the problems posed by their age difference and the strict prohibitions of their strong religious beliefs, Elwyn and Sister Morrisohn’s love is true, and as it grows among the ascetics, abstainers, and holy ghost rollers of their church, it exposes with wit, poignancy, and insight the dark secrets and ancient crimes of the pious. In Jesus Boy, Elwyn learns through tragedy and epiphany that the holy are no different from the rest of us.

Book Review

Click for more detail about John Crow’s Devil by Marlon James John Crow’s Devil

by Marlon James
Akashic Books (Aug 01, 2010)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A powerful first novel . . . Writing with assurance and control, James uses his small-town drama to suggest the larger anguish of a postcolonial society struggling for its own identity."
—New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

"Elements coalesce in a Jamaican stew spicier than jerk chicken. First novelist James moves effortlessly between lyrical patois and trenchant observations . . . It’s 150-proof literary rum guaranteed to intoxicate and enchant. Highly recommended."
—Library Journal (*starred* review)

This stunning debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in 1957 with language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison.

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970. His second novel, The Book of Night Women, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, was released in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. Currently a professor of literature and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he divides his time between Jamaica, New York City, and the Twin Cities.


Click for more detail about Kingston Noir (Akashic Noir) by Colin Channer Kingston Noir (Akashic Noir)

by Colin Channer
Akashic Books (May 29, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Thoroughly well-written stories…fans of noir will enjoy this batch of sordid tales set in the sweltering heat of the tropics."
—Publishers Weekly

"Kingston Noir subverts the simplistic sunshine/reggae/spliff-smoking image of Jamaica at almost every turn…The collection amply rewards the reader with a rich interplay of geographies and themes."
—The Los Angeles Times

"Kingston Noir goes darker and deeper than any before…the purest of noir, and the richest depictions of Jamaica."
—The Huffington Post

?Kingston Noir is an eclectic and gritty melange of tales that sears the imagination . . . Kingston Noir proves its worth as a quintessential piece of West Indian literature?rich, artistic, timeless, and above all, draped in unmistakable realism.”
—The Gleaner (Jamaica)

"Drop your energetically touted ’best of’ Jamaica brochures and sink your teeth into noir that bites back: the eleven wicked, wild, and unrepentant stories in Kingston Noir feature the talents of eminent voices in Jamaican fiction."
—Caribbean Beat

"Some of these stories are mysterious, some are straightforward, but all are dark. There isn’t a single light-hearted story in the bunch, which falls in line perfectly with the noir theme. Readers beware, there are some stories in this book that address the darkest parts of human nature: rape, torture, murder. It’s not for the faint of heart. However, they are all well-written and tap into the true underbelly of another culture."
—Examiner.com

"Several of the stories in Kingston Noir succeed brilliantly in reproducing the simultaneously estranging and horrifying effects of urban violence in Jamaica. And there is something appropriately unsettling about the differences between the stories, collected and edited by Colin Channer, such that the sense of being dislodged somewhere puzzlingly dissimilar from the place one began sometimes mimics the feeling of moving through Kingston? traversing this collection as if going ’down the road,’ with all the abrupt stops, shifts, and turns that Jamaicanism implies, does offer a way of connecting, piece by piece, story by story, to fragments of the city tucked away in consciousness and memory. It is a city rarely encountered in fiction; this collection satisfies a need and makes one hungry for more."
—sx salon: a small axe literary platform

"There is much to be admired in this anthology. Technically, the standard is very high throughout, but in several of the stories the writing soars."
—Wasafiri (UK)

Original stories by: Marlon James, Kwame Dawes, Patricia Powell, Colin Channer, Marcia Douglas, Leone Ross, Kei Miller, Christopher John Farley, Ian Thomson, Thomas Glave, and Chris Abani.

From Trench Town to Half Way Tree to Norbrook to Portmore and beyond, the stories of Kingston Noir shine light into the darkest corners of this fabled city. Joining award-winning Jamaican authors such as Marlon James, Leone Ross, and Thomas Glave are two "special guest" writers with no Jamaican lineage: Nigerian-born Chris Abani and British writer Ian Thomson. The menacing tone that runs through some of these stories is counterbalanced by the clever humor in others, such as Kei Miller’s ?White Gyal with a Camera,” who softens even the hardest of August Town’s gangsters; and Mr. Brown, the private investigator in Kwame Dawes’s story, who explains why his girth works to his advantage: "In Jamaica a woman like a big man. She can see he is prosperous, and that he can be in charge." Together, the outstanding tales in Kingston Noir comprise the best volume of short fiction ever to arise from the literary wellspring that is Jamaica.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Limbo by Sean Keith Henry Limbo

by Sean Keith Henry
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Limbo is a powerful and moving debut novel, telling the story of Trinidadian-born Pharaoh Chisholm’s cultural isolation when he and his family migrate from the multicultural hub of Los Angeles to Trondheim, a small, homogenous city hidden between fjords in the middle of Norway.

Sean Keith Henry was born in Port-of- Spain, Trinidad, and grew up in Boston, Mass. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. He lived for four years in Norway and now resides in Southern California with his wife and two chil-dren. His stories have been published in Obsidian II, Salamander and Callaloo.


Click for more detail about Lost Canyon by Nina Revoyr Lost Canyon

by Nina Revoyr
Akashic Books (Aug 25, 2015)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Nina Revoyr’s fifth novel, Lost Canyon. Booklist called it “a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation,” and the San Francisco Chronicle described it as “(A) heart-hammering literary thriller…almost as much of a rush as scaling the sheer, icy rock of the Sierra Nevada.” The Los Angeles Times described Nina as “one of (L.A.’s) finest scribes,” and the Los Angeles Review of Books has called her “one of the city’s great storytellers.”

Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. Each of them is drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job and with the loss of one of her teens. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career--and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.

When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn't been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they'd hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn't want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.

Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of the California mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.


Click for more detail about Loving Donovan by Bernice L. McFadden Loving Donovan

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (Feb 03, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Bernice L. McFadden is one of the best contemporary literary writers out there today…Her brilliance, her talent as a novelist, is the very life she breathes into all of her characters."
—Terry McMillan, from the Introduction

"Bernice L. McFadden was one of the best writers to emerge in the post-Waiting to Exhale explosion that introduced at least a dozen Black female novelists. Loving Donovan has generated near-cult status among readers. After more than a decade since it appeared, Donovan is being reissued. How fitting that Terry McMillan has written a new introduction. If you’ve read Donovan before, you will fall in love all over again. And if this is your first time, prepare yourself for an intense romance between an enigmatic antihero and a heroine who will feel like your homegirl."
—Essence Magazine

"Loving Donovan is brilliant. By exploring the depth of her characters, the novel transforms what, on the surface, may appear to be the run-of-the-mill, paperback sentimental, tear-jerking coupling, into an understanding, unflinching, expertly told tale of human nature."
—AALBC

One of Library Journal’s 25 Key Indie Fiction Titles for Fall 2014-Winter 2015!

"A two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist also twice honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, McFadden presents a love story starring Campbell and Donovan—both from shattered homes, both still hopeful, and both shaped more by history than they can imagine. Don’t miss."
—Library Journal Prepub Alert

"Loving Donovan firmly establishes McFadden among the ranks of those few writers of whom you constantly beg for more."
—Black Issues Book Review

"McFadden is clearly adept in keeping the reader entertained, captivated, and on our toes to try to figure out what’s going to happen next. The rich characters, life situations, and language all wrapped up in such a small book and saying so much is a feat."
—Brown Girl Reading

Praise for Bernice L. McFadden:

"McFadden works a kind of miracle—not only do her characters retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises."
—New York Times, on Gathering of Waters

"Searing and expertly imagined."
—Toni Morrison, on The Warmest December

With a new introduction by Terry McMillan.

The first section of McFadden’s unconventional love story belongs to Campbell. Despite being born to a brokenhearted mother and a faithless father, Campbell still believes in the power of love…if she can ever find it. Living in the same neighborhood, but unknown to Campbell until a chance meeting brings them together, is Donovan, the "little man" of a shattered home—a family torn apart by anger and bitterness.

In the face of daunting obstacles, Donovan dreams of someday marrying, raising a family, and playing in the NBA. But deep inside, Campbell and Donovan live with the histories that have shaped their lives. What they discover—together and apart—forms the basis of this compelling, sensual, and surprising novel.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Makeda by Randall Robinson Makeda

by Randall Robinson
Open Lens (Aug 30, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Makeda Gee Florida Harris March is a proud matriarch, the anchor and emotional bellwether who holds together a hard-working African American family living in 1950s Richmond, Virginia. Lost in shadow is Makeda's grandson Gray, who begins escaping into the magical world of Makeda's tiny parlor.

Makeda, a woman blind since birth but who has always dreamed in color, begins to confide in Gray the things she "sees" and remembers from her dream state, and a story emerges that is layered with historical accuracy beyond the scope of Makeda's limited education. Gradually, Gray begins to make a connection.

Part coming-of-age story, part spiritual journey, and part love story, Makeda is a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind. Randall Robinson plumbs the hearts of Makeda and Gray and summons our collective blood memories, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey of the soul that will linger long after the last page has been turned.


Click for more detail about Memphis Noir by Laureen Cantwell and Leonard Gill Memphis Noir

by Laureen Cantwell and Leonard Gill
Akashic Books (Nov 03, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"A remarkable picture of contemporary Memphis emerges in this Akashic noir volume…Something for everyone."
—Publishers Weekly

"Voodoo, ghosts, guns, hatred, jealousy and greed play their part here. There is no place for weakness here."
—Journey of a Bookseller

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Richard J. Alley, David Wesley Williams, Dwight Fryer, Jamey Hatley, Adam Shaw, Penny Register-Shaw, Kaye George, Arthur Flowers, Suzanne Berube Rorhus, Ehi Ike, Lee Martin, Stephen Clements, Cary Holladay, John Bensko, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Troy L. Wiggins.

From the introduction by Laureen P. Cantwell & Leonard Gill:

"A city equal parts darkness and hope. A scarred city. An often violent one. But a resilient city too.

That’s our Memphis.

Like many cities, we have a namesake—in Egypt, Men-nefer became Menfe became Memphis, enduring and beautiful, on the banks of the Nile. Centuries later, another continent, another people, another river: Memphis, Tennessee, the soul of the Mississippi Delta, was formed. We are a place born of history, inhabited as much by memory as by the living—the past and present inextricably and inescapably linked….Memphis is marvels and misfits—two-faced and unabashedly so.

We are Memphis, and this is our noir."


Click for more detail about Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo Mr. Loverman

by Bernardine Evaristo
Akashic Books (Apr 01, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Winner of the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction

"Evaristo’s confident control of the language, her vibrant use of humor, rhythm and poetry, and the realistic mix of Caribbean patois with both street and the Queen’s English…fix characters in the reader’s mind."
—New York Times Sunday Book Review

A Top Ten Favorite of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table’s 2015 Over the Rainbow List

"As a writer at the Guardian once proclaimed, if you don’t know Evaristo’s work, you should…the novel proves to be revolutionary in its honest portrayal of gay men…and Evaristo’s writing is both intelligible and compelling."
—Library Journal (starred review)

"The writing is poetic, the characters are realistic and all sides are well portrayed."
—Huffington Post

"Evaristo crafts a colorful look at a unique character confronting social normativity with a well-tuned voice and a resonant humanity."
—Publishers Weekly

"In this vibrant novel, Evaristo draws wonderful character portraits of complex individuals as well as the West Indian immigrant culture in Britain."
—Booklist

"Although Evaristo has always been an innovative stylist, her latest novel, the critically acclaimed, award-winning smash, Mr. Loverman, is her chef d’oeuvre; a masterful dissection of the life of a 74-year-old, British-Caribbean gay man."
—Huffington Post, feature on Bernardine Evaristo

Included in the Bay Area Reporter’s "Pride Reading List: Prose & Poetry"

Included in Baltimore Out Loud’s Pride Reading List

"If the novelist’s job is to make sense of the world, Bernardine Evaristo’s entire oeuvre attests to her desire to upend preconceived notions of what is and isn’t impossible and reflect that mirror right back at her readers. Mr. Loverman is a powerful, morally rigorous and joyful novel and Bernardine Evaristo is a writer at the height of her imaginative powers."
—Huff Post Books

"Barrington Jedediah Walker lives in London, but he also lives a lie…As his marriage self-destructs, Barrington sees an opportunity to be with the man he loves, but after such protracted misery in this comic, touching book, happiness seems distant and frightening."
—Village Voice

"Mr. Loverman is a brilliant portrayal of a life that is only lived fully during the twilight years and the struggle within to get there…This is a book for everyone, not to be shelved into a grouping for just one sector of society."
—NEWZ4U.NET

"Barrington is the kind of character that is naturally likeable; from his love of Shakespeare down to the tips of his boots, he oozes charm and charisma."
—Lit Reactor

"It takes you and shakes you silly, leaving you stunned…Of the many books I’ve read so far this year, Mr. Loverman is one of the best."
—1330v

"Bernardine Evaristo uncovers characters lost to history and myth and with compassion, an original and brilliant voice, and an unparalleled craft—all tinged with humor—she restores them and thus us."
—Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas

"Evaristo is extremely attentive to the function of language, the power of words to shape reality."
—Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World

Barrington Jedidiah Walker is seventy-four and leads a double life. Born and bred in Antigua, he’s lived in Hackney, London, for years. A flamboyant, wise-cracking character with a dapper taste in retro suits and a fondness for Shakespeare, Barrington is a husband, father, grandfather—and also secretly gay, lovers with his childhood friend, Morris.

His deeply religious and disappointed wife, Carmel, thinks he sleeps with other women. When their marriage goes into meltdown, Barrington wants to divorce Carmel and live with Morris, but after a lifetime of fear and deception, will he manage to break away? With an abundance of laugh-out-loud humor and wit, Mr. Loverman explodes cultural myths and shows the extent of what can happen when people fear the consequences of being true to themselves.


Click for more detail about New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Nne) by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Nne)

by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani
Akashic Books (Apr 04, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“Dawes and Abani have taken on the vital project of publishing short collections by contemporary poets from Africa, packaged together in beautiful boxed sets.” —New York Times Magazine

Praise for New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tatu):

“New-Generation African Poets is an ambitious, vital project that delivers exactly what it promises…As a group, the chapbooks dispel stereotypes about African writing. They also illustrate what editors Dawes and Abani note about the many ways poets can understand or redefine their ties to Africa. These insights are poignant and valuable, especially at a time when millions around the globe find themselves somewhere between new countries and ancestral lands they've left behind.” —Washington Post

“Each poem has an edge that cuts deeply…A collection pulsing with fresh talent in a series that poetry lovers worldwide should be grateful for.” —Shelf Awareness

The limited-edition box set is an annual project started in 2014 to ensure the publication of seven to ten chapbooks yearly by African poets through Akashic Books. The series seeks to identify the best poetry written by African poets working today, and it is especially interested in featuring poets who have not yet published their first full-length book of poetry.

The ten poets included in this box set are: Yasmin Belkhyr, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Chekwube O. Danladi, Mary-Alice Daniel, Lena Bezawork Gronlund, Ashley Makue, Momtaza Mehri, Famia Nkansa, Ejiofor Ugwu, and Chimwemwe Undi.


Click for more detail about New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tatu) by Kwame Dawes New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tatu)

by Kwame Dawes
Akashic Books (Apr 12, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The box set is an annual project started in 2014 to ensure the continued publication of new chapbooks by African poets. The series seeks to identify the best poetry written by African poets working today, especially those poets who have not yet published their first full-length book of poetry.The eight poets included in this box set are: D.M. Aderibigbe, Gbenga Adesina, Kayombo Chingonyi, Safia Elhillo, Chielozona Eze, Nyachiro Lydia Kasese, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, and Hope Wabuke; with an introduction by Dawes & Abani.Kwame Dawes is the Ghanian-born, award-winning author of eighteen collections of poetry. He currently teaches as the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.Chris Abani, a Nigerian-born, award-winning poet and novelist, currently teaches at Northwestern University in Chicago.


Click for more detail about Not for Everyday Use: A Memoir by Elizabeth Nunez Not for Everyday Use: A Memoir

by Elizabeth Nunez
Akashic Books (Apr 01, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Tracing the four days from the moment she gets the call that every immigrant fears to the burial of her mother, Elizabeth Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the “sterner stuff” of her parents' ambitions for their children and her mother's seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use.

But Nunez sympathizes with her parents, whose happiness is constrained by the oppressive strictures of colonialism, by the Catholic Church’s prohibition of artificial birth control which her mother obeys, terrified by the threat of eternal damnation (her mother gets pregnant fourteen times: nine live births and five miscarriages which almost kill her), and by what Malcolm Gladwell refers to as the “privilege of skin color” in his mother’s Caribbean island homeland where “the brown-skinned classes...came to fetishize their lightness.” Still, a fierce love holds this family together, and the passionate, though complex, love Nunez’s parents have for each other will remind readers of the passion between the aging lovers in Gabriel José García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. Written in exquisite prose by a writer the New York Times Book Review calls “a master at pacing and plotting,” Not for Everyday Use is a page-turner that readers will find impossible to put down.

Not for Everyday Use - Reviews:

 


Click for more detail about Nowhere Is a Place by Bernice L. McFadden Nowhere Is a Place

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (Feb 05, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?Nowhere Is a Place is a powerful portrait of family secrets, damage, and healing, probing deep below the surface of an African American family’s history to mend present day relationships . . . Ms. McFadden has a beautiful writing style that is simultaneously lyrical and transparent. In parts of the narrative, time seems to stand still as she describes an event in riveting minute to minute detail. Other times she employs a kind of poetic shorthand that condenses long periods of time, years even, into a few sentences.”
—New York Journal of Books

"An engrossing multigenerational saga . . . With her deep engagement in the material and her brisk but lyrical prose, McFadden creates a poignant epic of resiliency, bringing Sherry to a well-earned awareness of her place atop the shoulders of her ancestors, those who survived so that she might one day, too."
—Publishers Weekly

"Telling her story from two perspectives and on two levels—the mother-daughter relationship and Sherry’s fictional account—McFadden brings added texture to this story of reconciliation."
—Booklist

?A poignant tale of self-discovery in the face of a complicated family history.”
—Brooklyn Daily Eagle

"Bernice L. McFadden’s Nowhere Is a Place is a hauntingly-disturbing and redemptive frame story of many generations of a Yamasee Native-American and African-American family from pre-slavery times until July 1995."
—Bowling Green Daily News

"With a good dose of poignancy about life and finding the wisdom of the world for ourselves, Nowhere is a Place is a fine addition to modern literary fiction collections."
—The Midwest Book Review

"Compelling, beautifully written, and profoundly human, McFadden has conjured a tale of a fractured family who journey across the country and back through history to unearth painful truths that unexpectedly reshape their relationships with each other."
—Lynn Nottage, playwright, author of Intimate Apparel

Nothing can mend a broken heart quite like family. Sherry has struggled all her life to understand who she is, where she comes from, and, most important, why her mother slapped her cheek one summer afternoon. The incident has haunted Sherry, and it causes her to dig into her family’s past. Like many family histories, it is fractured and stubbornly reluctant to reveal its secrets; but Sherry is determined to know the full story. In just a few days’ time, her extended family will gather for a reunion, and Sherry sets off across the country with her mother, Dumpling, to join them. What Sherry and Dumpling find on their trip is far more important than scenic sites here and there—it is the assorted pieces of their family’s past. Pulled together, they reveal a history of amazing survival and abundant joy.

Bernice L. McFadden is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels including the classic Sugar, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice), and Glorious, which was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honor awards from the BCALA. Her sophomore novel, The Warmest December, was praised by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison as "searing and expertly imagined." McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Click for more detail about On the Way Back by Montague Kobbé, On the Way Back

by Montague Kobbé,
Akashic Books (Feb 02, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Colorful detours into native lore, such as a rich Dutchman’s fabled courtship of a local beauty, strike grace notes that echo Márquez."—Publishers Weekly on The Night of the Rambler"Riveting, deeply thoughtful, and constantly inventive."—Joe Meno on The Night of the RamblerA middle-aged businessman from England travels to Anguilla for a two week vacation when he’s captivated by a beautiful member of the local community. Recognizing the value Anguillan society places on economic projects, the smitten traveler sets up roots and attempts to found an ill-conceived airline business to earn and keep the young woman’s attention.Montague Kobbé was born in Venezuela and grew up in both Anguilla and Caracas. His debut novel, The Night of the Rambler, was published by Akashic in 2013. His work has been published in Anguilla, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Venezuela, Spain, and the United Kingdom. He currently lives in London, England.


Click for more detail about Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean by Peekash Press Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean

by Peekash Press
Akashic Books (Apr 22, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"This wonderful anthology of fresh voices from the Caribbean…includes writers from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The diverse textures of the stories by 13 established and new authors weave a tapestry of the islands, water, sand, ocean breeze, and rum. Vivid settings serve as backdrops for a dazzling display of personalities."
—Booklist

"The wonder in these stories is that they show Caribbean culture—the people, sounds, food, and music…this book will appeal to readers of Caribbean fiction and beyond."
—Library Journal

"One of my favorite reads of the last few months…sophisticated and engrossing…A big recommendation today for one and all."
—Chicago Center for Literature & Photography

"[Pepperpot] leaps headfirst into audacious narrative water, sustaining a diversity in storytelling that’s indicative of the panoply of ways to love, sin, and write about it, in these our unpredictable, conjoined societies."
—Caribbean Beat Magazine

"Readers are in for a treat when they open the pages to taste the mélange of literary Caribbean cuisine. Spicy and filling!"
—The Gleaner (Jamaica), "Sizzling Books for Summer Reading"

"If you want a masterclass in how to start your stories with a bang, this is the book for you….This is an exciting and heartening book. It proves—if anyone was in any doubt—that the Caribbean has plenty of homegrown literary talent to draw upon."
—A Year of Reading the World (Book of the Month for August 2014)

"Take Pepperpot along on vacation. It’s an ideal summer read."
—La Bloga

"Pepperpot is an eclectic mix of adventure, humor, the spirit world, family relationships, and other subject matters which gives you something to think about."
—Ski-wee’s Book Corner

Featuring a preface by Olive Senior.

Includes the 2013 Commonwealth Prize-winning story "The Whale House" by Sharon Millar.

Akashic Books and Peepal Tree Press, two of the foremost publishers of Caribbean literature, launch a joint Caribbean-focused imprint, Peekash Press, with this anthology. Consisting entirely of brand-new stories by authors living in the region (not simply authors from the region), this collection gathers the very best entries to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, including a mix of established and up-and-coming writers from islands throughout the Caribbean.

Featuring these brand-new stories:

"The Whale House" by Sharon Millar (Trinidad & Tobago)
"A Good Friday" by Barbara Jenkins (Trinidad & Tobago)
"Reversal of Fortunes" by Kevin Baldeosingh (Trinidad & Tobago)
"The Monkey Trap" by Kevin Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago)
"The Science of Salvation" by Dwight Thompson (Jamaica)
"Waywardness" by Ezekel Alan (Jamaica)
"Berry" by Kimmisha Thomas (Jamaica)
"Father, Father" by Garfield Ellis (Jamaica)
"All the Secret Things No-One Ever Knows" by Sharon Leach (Jamaica)
"This Thing We Call Love" by Ivory Kelly (Belize)
"And the Virgin’s Name Was Leah" by Heather Barker (Barbados)
"Amelia" by Joanne Hillhouse (Antigua & Barbuda)
"Mango Summer" by Janice Lynn Mather (Bahamas)

and others!


Click for more detail about Pressure Makes Diamonds by Valerie Graves Pressure Makes Diamonds

by Valerie Graves
Open Lens (Nov 01, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Pressure Makes Diamonds is an important and timely book that brilliantly details Valerie Graves’s pioneering life and transformative career in the historically segregated advertising industry. With world-class creative skills and gritty determination, Graves achieved award-winning mainstream success; opened doors for aspiring minorities; and helped to change how blacks were perceived in the media.”
—Byron E. Lewis, Chairman Emeritus, UniWorld Group

This is the unflinching memoir of a black woman’s journey from the projects of Motown-era Michigan to the skyscrapers of Madison Avenue and beyond. With marches, riots, and demonstrations as the backdrop, and rock 'n' roll as a soundtrack, this book accompanies Graves as she traverses the seismically shifting terrain of 1960s and ’s70s America on her quest to “sbe somebody.”s

In the '80s and '90s, as Graves makes her ascent to the East Coast heights of the white male–dominated advertising world, she turns familiarity with harsh realities like racism and sexism into robust insights that deeply connect with African American consumers. During the golden era of black advertising, she becomes an undisputed “somebody.” Soon, though, she learns that money, success, a good marriage, and connections that reach all the way to the White House cannot entirely insulate her against the social ills that threaten to crush black Americans.

Excerpt


“…As I scanned the crystal and china–laden room, I could see the tension in the bodies of the white-uniformed, brown-skinned waiters and female attendants who looked like my cousins and great-aunts. All evening I had tried to read their averted eyes as they quietly went about their jobs. Now those eyes were all on me, the only black person in the room not serving canapés or drinks. Would mine be the cringe-worthy words of a happy-to-be-here Uncle Tom, or some militant mess that would make the white folks scared and mean? No one knew, least of all me. I was about to perform live at the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club, direct from the Lakeside projects on the shores of Mud Lake. The Thing picked me up and threatened to throw me back into that polluted pond. “Go for what you know, kid,” it snarled. It didn’t give a damn whether I could swim or not. In the grip of the Thing, I said the only words I had been sure would come out of my mouth: “Valerie Graves.” Then, something else safe: “Copywriter.” I looked at my half-drunk colleagues waiting to see if the Thing would drown me, then I listened as the next words tumbled recklessly out of my mouth: “And token.” There was an audible intake of air from both white and black folks, for entirely different reasons, followed by gales of laughter from the agency crowd. My black brethren gave me looks that said, “Girl, I hope you know what you’re doing.” I didn’t, but whatever it was, the Thing would not take me under that night. The next morning, the CEO paused as he passed my doorway. “Token, huh?” he said with a beaming smile and an Oh, you’re such a kidder gesture. Two weeks later, I was out of a job.”


Click for more detail about Providential by Colin Channer Providential

by Colin Channer
Akashic Books (Sep 01, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Jamaican-born Channer draws on the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean and his own unique experience for this energetic, linguistically inventive first collection of poetry….Channer’s lyrics pop and reel in sheer musicality….A dextrous, ambitious collection that delivers enough acoustic acrobatics to keep readers transfixed ’till the starlings sing out.’"
—Booklist

"Channer…skillfully examines the brutality that permeates Jamaica’s history in this moving debut poetry collection….Channer’s poems rise to present the reader with a panoramic view of a place ’built on old foundations of violence,’ of ’geographies where genocide and massacre/hang like smoke from coal fires.’"
—Publishers Weekly

"The debut poetry collection considers themes of family, Jamaican culture, Rasta, reggae, policing, loss, and violence, tackling the rare literary subject of the Jamaican policeman in light of Channer’s relationship with his Jamaican policeman father."
—Publishers Weekly, Fall 2015 Announcements

"[Channer’s] strongest offering yet….Providential perfectly clothes the written word with matching tone and atmosphere. Welcome to the hallowed halls of Fine Poetry!"
—Kaieteur News (Guyana)

"Channer has written a fine set of poems that, like classical myth, start with the search for the lost father and end with the found son, the poet in the process replacing the lost father with a found self."
—Russell Banks, author of The Sweet Hereafter

"The voices and irrepressible human dance of the clan pulsing at this book’s center leave me breathless and I realize how close the voices are to my own, how much I crave this dance."
—Patricia Smith, author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah

"This is such a brilliant ’toast,’ this swift and pained and skimming history of Jamaica sweetly written by a poet with a cop dad. Providential does justice to the diasporic reality of places being ’there but not there,’ including of course America, the poet’s current home. Lush lists and light-footedness and keen word choices all restore a limb to our comprehension of colonial trauma and make this one of the most lucid and telling poetry books of this exact time."
—Eileen Myles, author of Snowflake

"Channer writes with a moving vulnerability and much lyric grace, revealing new facets to familiar themes—home, family, history, and the evolving journey of self. A universal, timeless meditation."
—Chris Abani, author of The Secret History of Las Vegas

"This one is an audacious and brilliant take on noir, written with pitch-perfect rhythm and a keen eye for supple, limber turns."
—Lorna Goodison, author of From Harvey River

Channer’s debut poetry collection achieves an intimate and lyric meditation on family, policing, loss, and violence, but the work is enlivened by humor, tenderness, and the rich possibilities that come from honest reflection. Combined with a capacity to offer physical landscapes with painterly sensitivity and care, a graceful mining of the nuances of Jamaican patwa and American English, and a judicious use of metaphor and similie, Providential is a work of "heartical" insight and vulnerability.

Not since Claude McKay’s Constab Ballads of 1912 has a writer attempted to tackle the unlikely literary figure of the Jamaican policeman. Now, over a century later, Channer draws on his own knowledge of Jamaican culture, on his complex relationship with his father (a Jamaican policeman), and frames these poems within the constantly humane principles of Rasta and reggae. The poems within Providential manage to turn the intricate relationships between a man and his father, a man and his mother, and man and his country, and a man and his children into something akin to grace.


Click for more detail about Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don’t Have Bruises by Miles Marshall Lewis Scars of the Soul Are Why Kids Wear Bandages When They Don’t Have Bruises

by Miles Marshall Lewis
Akashic Books (Oct 01, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?Lewis has composed an observant and urban B-boy’s rites of passage . . . a hiphop bildungsroman told in prose full of buoyancy and bounce.”?Greg Tate, author of Flyboy in the Buttermilk

Scars of the Soul is a confessional, stylistic account (in the Joan Didion tradition) of coming-of-age in the Bronx alongside the birth and evolution of hip-hop culture.

Miles Marshall Lewis was born in the Bronx in 1970 and currently lives in Manhattan. He is a former editor of Vibe and XXL, and his work has been published in The Nation, The Source, the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Essence and other magazines. He holds a B.A. in sociology from Morehouse College and studied at the Fordham University School of Law.


Click for more detail about Seed by Mustafa Mutabaruka Seed

by Mustafa Mutabaruka
Akashic Books (Jun 18, 2002)
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Fiction. Written in a tense, halting style that mirrors the strained, unsettling urgency of the protagonist, SEED weaves its competing narratives together into a singular voice in which abrasive violence and lyric beauty frequently overlap, and in which violence and redemption converge toward a common destiny. "Mustafa Mutabaruka’s exceptional debut novel SEED has the resonance of a Greek myth and the immediacy of a slashing noir mystery. Moving from a lonely American farmhouse to the bathhouses of Morocco, from a barbarous past tot he sweetness of erotic love, SEED is bleak, brilliant, powerfully hallucinatory"—Joseph Cummins (author of THE SNOW TRAIN, available from SPD).

Book Review

Click for more detail about She’s Gone by Kwame Dawes She’s Gone

by Kwame Dawes
Akashic Books (Feb 01, 2007)
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The debut novel from Jamaica’s award-winning poet.


Click for more detail about So Much Things to Say: 100 Poets from the First Ten Years of the Calabash International Literary Festival by Kwame Dawes So Much Things to Say: 100 Poets from the First Ten Years of the Calabash International Literary Festival

by Kwame Dawes
Akashic Books (Jul 01, 2010)
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Contributors include: Robert Pinsky, Derek Walcott, Elizabeth Alexander, Amiri Baraka, Martin Espada, Terrance Hayes, Valzyna Mort, Sonia Sanchez, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Patricia Smith, Saul Williams, Staceyann Chin, and 88 others.

Imagine a night of a hundred poets reading their work to an audience of intensely engaged, responsive, and lively people. Imagine the reading taking place under a tent pitched on a grassy lawn that overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Imagine the sun setting, imagine the scent of curried goat and fried fish wafting through the air, imagine the heat, imagine the cool tongue of wind off the sea, imagine a stage like an ancient shrine with a podium artfully pieced together with bamboo, strips of still green wood, leaves, twine, and shells. Imagine one hundred poets, some whose names you know and some you have never heard of, stepping onto the stage, opening their mouths and hearts, and singing out poems of such variety, complexity, beauty, and passion.

This is what a poetry reading at the Calabash International Literary Festival is like, and this new anthology provides readers a taste of what this festival offers year after year.

Edited by Kwame Dawes and Colin Channer, two of the founders of the festival, this is an exciting example of Calabash’s commitment to create a festival that is diverse, inspirational, earthy, and daring each May. This anthology is at once a celebration of ten years of a remarkable literary event as it is a gesture of love to seek ways to continue to fund and support this festival for the future. All profits from this publication will go toward the running of the festival, which remains free and open to the public.


Click for more detail about Song for Night: A Novella by Chris Abani Song for Night: A Novella

by Chris Abani
Akashic Books (Sep 01, 2007)
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"Not since Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird or Agota Kristof’s Notebook Trilogy has there been such a harrowing novel about what it’s like to be a young person in a war. That Chris Abani is able to find humanity, mercy, and even, yes, forgiveness, amid such devastation is something of a miracle.”?Rebecca Brown, author of The End of Youth

"The moment you enter these pages, you step into a beautiful and terrifying dream. You are in the hands of a master, a literary shaman. Abani casts his spell so completely?so devastatingly?you emerge cleansed, redeemed, and utterly haunted."?Brad Kessler, author of Birds in Fall

Part Inferno, part Paradise Lost, and part Sunjiata epic, Song for Night is the story of a West African boy soldier’s lyrical, terrifying, yet beautiful journey through the nightmare landscape of a brutal war in search of his lost platoon. The reader is led by the voiceless protagonist who, as part of a land mine-clearing platoon, had his vocal chords cut, a move to keep these children from screaming when blown up, and thereby distracting the other minesweepers. The book is written in a ghostly voice, with each chapter headed by a line of the unique sign language these children invented. This book is unlike anything else ever written about an African war.

Chris Abani is a Nigerian poet and novelist and the author of The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail (a New York Times Editor’s Choice), and GraceLand (a selection of the Today Show Book Club and winner of the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award). His other prizes include a PEN Freedom to Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.


Click for more detail about Southland by Nina Revoyr Southland

by Nina Revoyr
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2003)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"[A]n absolutely compelling story of family and racial tragedy. Revoyr’s novel is honest in detailing southern California’s brutal history, and honorable in showing how families survived with love and tenacity and dignity."
?Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

Southland brings us a fascinating story of race, love, murder and history, against the backdrop of an ever-changing Los Angeles. A young Japanese-American woman, Jackie Ishida, is in her last semester of law school when her grandfather, Frank Sakai, dies unexpectedly. While trying to fulfill a request from his will, Jackie discovers that four African-American boys were killed in the store Frank owned during the Watts Riots of 1965. Along with James Lanier, a cousin of one of the victims, Jackie tries to piece together the story of the boys’ deaths. In the process, she unearths the long-held secrets of her family’s history.

Southland depicts a young woman in the process of learning that her own history has bestowed upon her a deep obligation to be engaged in the larger world. And in Frank Sakai and his African-American friends, it presents characters who find significant common ground in their struggles, but who also engage each other across grounds?historical and cultural?that are still very much in dispute.

Moving in and out of the past?from the internment camps of World War II, to the barley fields of the Crenshaw District in the 1930s, to the streets of Watts in the 1960s, to the night spots and garment factories of the 1990s?Southland weaves a tale of Los Angeles in all of its faces and forms.

Nina Revoyr is the author of The Necessary Hunger ("Irresistible."?Time Magazine). She was born in Japan, raised in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and is of Japanese and Polish-American descent. She lives and works in Los -Angeles.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Staten Island Noir (Akashic Noir) by Patricia Smith Staten Island Noir (Akashic Noir)

by Patricia Smith
Akashic Books (Nov 06, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?When They Are Done with Us” by Patricia Smith was selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories 2013, edited by Otto Penzler and Lisa Scottoline

Brand-new stories by: Bill Loehfelm, S.J. Rozan, Ted Anthony, Todd Craig, Ashley Dawson, Bruce DeSilva, Louisa Ermelino, Binnie Kirshenbaum, Michael Largo, Mike Penncavage, Linda Nieves-Powell, Patricia Smith, Shay Youngblood, and Edward Joyce.

"Staten Island, the last of New York City’s five boroughs to enter Akashic’s noir series, severs as the setting for this exceptionally strong anthology."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Smith’s introduction is a revelation. She knows the Island I have in my head. It was like finding a literary sibling, separated since birth."
—Washington Independent

"It’s not enough for noir to be dark. It’s got to be bad-ass. Its words, its decaying and horrible beauty have got to hit you like a spiked heel dragged from your guts to your gullet. It’s got to twist the hot knife of passion in that soft space right below your belly while pumping bullets into your heart. It’s got to make you bleed. Akashic Books’ latest in their noir series, Staten Island Noir features some dusky and drop-dead gorgeous gems (emphasis on the dead) that do just that."
—Grub Street Daily

"Staten Island is the forgotten borough, lacking a subway system, left out of Jay-Z’s songs, known for organized crime, bad accents, fake tans, and garbage—which makes it a rich setting for Akashic’s noir series…In a thrilling tilt-a-whirl of crime and drama, editor Patricia Smith has carefully chosen writers concerned with the true nature of the small suburban borough."
—Electric Literature’s "The Outlet"

"Each story in this enjoyable collection has its own charms, if the words ’enjoyable’ or ’charms’ can be used with these dark tales, and each can stand-alone. However, if, like me, you had always looked at Staten Island as banal and benign, by the book’s end your ideas will be forever changed."
—ReviewingTheEvidence.com

Patricia Smith, editor of Staten Island Noir, has won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for her short story included in the anthology, ?When They Are Done with Us.”


Click for more detail about Sunfail by Steven Savile Sunfail

by Steven Savile
Infamous Books (Nov 03, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Dogs howl in the streets, running wild. Birds fall dead from the sky. Even the sun itself is failing. As darkness descends all hell breaks loose and terrorists strike hard and fast, taking out the army base at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, leaving Manhattan vulnerable.
Jake Carter is an NYC subway electrician and former Special Forces operative. When he finds two young men spraying graffiti across the subway station walls, he realizes their marks aren’t gang tags or band names: they are a message, a call to arms spelled out in a lost language. The Hidden are communicating with each other. The end of the world has arrived, and it’s being orchestrated by those unseen—for profit.
Carter finds himself dragged into a world of conspiracy and menace by a woman he hasn’t spoken to in over a decade: Sandra Keane, his ex-girlfriend, is one of the few who knows what’s going on. She has just turned against her paymasters, and now she’s running for her life with nowhere left to hide. With Sandra, Carter must answer some impossible questions: How do you fight an enemy you cannot see? How do you defeat ghosts? How do you stop some of the richest and most powerful men in the world when they own the shadows? And most important of all, how do you stay alive when the world around you is dying?
Infamous Books, curated by Albert “Prodigy” Johnson from the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to thriller, crime fiction, and street lit authors both familiar and new.


Click for more detail about Swing by Miasha Swing

by Miasha
Infamous Books (May 27, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Wise librarians will stock up and ’swing’ this one over to erotica fans."
—Library Journal

"This newest offering from Miasha packs quite a punch…This erotic thriller keeps the drama and the sex coming from start to finish."
—Library Journal (Erotica column)

"A sleazy little gem of a book…Short, dirty, and a riveting page-turner…This is literature with teeth and claws."
—Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

"A nicely paced thriller, balancing raunch with equally juicy interpersonal drama…a strong writer who is unmistakably in her element."
—The Brooklyn Paper/February Houses

Included in Written Magazine’s "Publisher’s Picks: 30-Books-in-90-Days" list

"This book is a hot and fast read that will surely delight readers. With Swing, Miasha gives us a walk on the wild side."
—Urban Reviews

"I love the twists and turns in the story, and as the story unfolds it gets more interesting page-by-page. Miasha delivered a wonderful plot to the story that left you anticipating more."
—AfterDarkOnline

"Swing is a very entertaining read: devious characters, murderous lovers, plot twists, and plenty of hot sex. Who could ask for anything more?"
—Lily Lick Books Reviews

Part of the Infamous Books imprint, curated by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson.

Lyssa and Jacob, owners of the swingers’ club Puss and Boots, have been living an active swingers lifestyle ever since their two children moved out of the house. Every couple months they hire a "live-in," a girl who in exchange for room, board, and a paycheck provides sex on demand.

Danielle and Stewart met each other at a swingers’ club eight years ago. They fell in love and married, soon becoming regulars at Puss and Boots before obtaining their own private room in the club.

JuJu and Ferrari are the epitome of opposites attract. She’s fifty, he’s thirty. She is wild and outgoing and he is reserved and laid-back. She’s a millionaire former model; he’s a college dropout wannabe model. They’ve been going to Puss and Boots since the club opened two years ago.

Tori and Kevin always talked about experimenting with threesomes and group sex but never made time to act on their thoughts and wishes. Well, it’s Kevin’s thirtieth birthday, and what better gift than a surprise visit to Puss and Boots?

Swing is the story of the treacherous and steamy collisions in the lives of these four couples. Roped with sultry scandals and lustful lies, this novella will propel readers to their highest highs and drop them to their lowest lows.

Infamous Books, curated by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson of the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new.


Click for more detail about Tales by Amiri Baraka Tales

by Amiri Baraka
Akashic Books (Jan 05, 2016)
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A reissue of a 1967 story collection shows a mind in motion and graphs Baraka's thoughts during that turbulent period.

“Baraka’s stories evoke a mood of revolutionary disorder, conjuring an alternative universe in which a dangerous African-American underground, or a dangerous literary underground still exists…Baraka is at his best as a lyrical prophet of despair who transfigures his contentious racial and political views into a transcendent, ‘outtelligent’ clarity.”—New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) on Tales of the Out & the Gone

With a new introduction by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

These sixteen artful and nuanced stories fall into two parts: the first nine concern themselves with the sensibility of a hip, perceptive young black man in white America. The last seven stories endeavor to place that same man within the context of his awareness of and participation in a rapidly emerging and powerfully felt negritude. They deal, it might be said, with the black man in black America. Yet these tales are not social tracts, but absolutely masterful fiction—provocative, witty, and, at times, bitter and aggressive.


Click for more detail about Tales of the Out & Gone by Amiri Baraka Tales of the Out & Gone

by Amiri Baraka
Akashic Books (Dec 01, 2006)
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Controversial literary legend Amiri Baraka’s new short story collection will shock and awe.


Click for more detail about The Accidental Hunter (A D Hunter Mystery) by Nelson George The Accidental Hunter (A D Hunter Mystery)

by Nelson George
Akashic Books (Mar 03, 2015)
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The Accidental Hunter marks the debut of D Hunter, Nelson George’s unforgettable bodyguard-turned-PI whom Library Journal calls ". . . as world weary, yet steadfast, as Phillip Marlowe.” A security specialist who thrives off of the Manhattan nightlife, Hunter is the man people turn to when they need help without drawing the attention of the NYPD.


Click for more detail about The Age of Dreaming by Nina Revoyr The Age of Dreaming

by Nina Revoyr
Akashic Books (Apr 01, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Jun Nakayama was a silent film star in the early days of Hollywood, but by 1964, he is living in complete obscurity—until a young writer, Nick Bellinger, reveals that he has written a screenplay with Nakayama in mind. Jun is intrigued by the possibility of returning to movies, but he begins to worry that someone might delve too deeply into the past and uncover the events that led to the abrupt end of his career in 1922. These events include the changing racial tides in California and the unsolved murder of his favorite director, Ashley Bennett Tyler.

The Age of Dreaming is part historical novel, part mystery, and part unrequited love story.

Nina Revoyr was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and a Polish-American father, and grew up in Japan, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of two previous novels, The Necessary Hunger and Southland, which was a Book Sense 76 pick, winner of the Ferro-Grumley and Lambda Literary awards, a finalist for an Edgar Award, and one of the Los Angeles Times’ “Best Books of 2003.”


Click for more detail about The Angels’ Share by Garfield Ellis The Angels’ Share

by Garfield Ellis
Akashic Books (Jan 05, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"It takes a lot to stand out in the crowded field of Caribbean lit, but Garfield Ellis grabs mystery, family, love, hate, longing, and loss, boils them down to a Jamaica we don’t always see, and rises to the top."
—Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

"The Angels’ Share is Garfield Ellis’s passport to the center of the literary world. Ellis is a writer of tremendous talent with that rare quality that can only be called bigness."
—Colin Channer, author of The Girl with the Golden Shoes

"Ellis inhabits his story of a lost-and-found father and a host of engaging characters and breathtaking incidents with skill, humor, and honesty. A page-turning read."
—Olive Senior, author of Dancing Lessons

"Ellis’s compelling novel joins the literature of the Caribbean to bring an exciting new view of our outer and subterranean landscapes whose ghosts are not victims, and whose survivors join a legacy of heroes."
—Rachel Manley, author of In My Father’s Shade

Everton Dorril, a rising star at a Jamaican beverage company, immediately fears the worst when his stepmother calls one morning to tell him his father is missing. Everton soon discovers that his father has run off to track down a woman he has been in love with for thirty-five years. An "outside" child born to his father’s mistress, Everton deeply resents his father and hates the idea of jeopardizing the most important moment in his career to go find him, but feels he has no other choice.

His father’s stubborn refusal to return home leads Everton to reluctantly give up a week of work—one week only—to join him on his quest. By the fourth day, Everton is fed up with his father’s lies and excuses. In spite of his better judgment, and worried his father might be dying, Everton finally confronts him one drunken night and airs his resentments. He discovers that his father, frightened and unhappy with the failings of his past, is seeking closure and reconciliation. Fearing this is his last chance to find out more about the father who had no time for him when he was growing up, Everton and his father set out on an adventurous quest across Jamaica, hoping to make up for lost time.


Click for more detail about The Baker’s Son: My Life in Business by Lowell Hawthorne The Baker’s Son: My Life in Business

by Lowell Hawthorne
Akashic Books (Sep 04, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"At 21, Hawthorne’s parents shipped him off to New York, where his older siblings had already relocated. He eventually found a job, started college, and began to build the multi-million dollar business Golden Krust, whose Jamaican patties are a New York staple. Hawthorne’s story is compelling on many levels: it offers a peek into life in Jamaica, a classic immigrant narrative, and a testament to the strength of family. Hawthorne’s is a Horatio Alger tale with a Caribbean flavor, which should find an appreciative audience among entrepreneurs and business aficionados."
—Library Journal

"The American question gets a great, real-life look in The Baker’s Son … Hawthorne’s story is at once inspirational and revelatory."
—Publishers Weekly

"In his memoir, The Baker’s Son, Hawthorne shares how an idea inspired by his father’s bakery in Border, Jamaica, grew into the 120-branch Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill. After 23 years of selling patties, pastries, sandwiches and more through Golden Krust, Hawthorne hasn’t lost sight of his values."
—New York Daily News

"The Baker’s Son is a deeply moving account that tells the story of an immigrant family from rural Jamaica that relocated to the Bronx in 1980s… the Hawthorne family has scaled the heights of success to achieve the American Dream to an unprecedented degree."
—The Philadelphia Tribune

"In gripping narrative that is both inspirational and instructive, Lowell Hawthorne shares how an idea infused with tenacity, intellect, and passion can become a dream realized. The Baker’s Son offers a successful playbook for any entrepreneur who seeks to play on the rough-and-tumble field of business—and win.”—Earl ?Butch” Graves, Jr., President and CEO, Black Enterprise

"Lowell Hawthorne’s chronicle of the development of a small Jamaican business into the highly successful Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, an American business empire, is an invaluable guide to business success as well as an inspiring autobiographical work."?P.J. Patterson, former prime minister of Jamaica

The Baker’s Son is a memoir by the founder of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, the hugely successful Jamaican owned and run enterprise that reaches from New York to Florida with over 120 franchise locations. Starting from humble beginnings, and after weathering several major crises along the way, the Hawthorne family has scaled the heights of success to achieve the American Dream to an unprecedented degree. Today the Golden Krust brand represents the most lucrative Caribbean business ever established in America and one of the most profitable black businesses operating in the United States.

Lowell Hawthorne is the president and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill. He lives in Westchester, New York.


Click for more detail about The Book of Harlan by Bernice L. McFadden The Book of Harlan

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (May 03, 2016)
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The Book of Harlan was inspired by the life of my paternal grandfather; Harold Isaac McFadden (pictured on the cover)

I never personally knew the man and neither did my father. All I had to recreate his life were a birth certificate, census schedules, a few newspaper articles and my imagination.

In many ways, this book is the culmination of twenty years of family history research. A few weeks after I sent the manuscript to my publisher, I went down to a little town in Burke County, Georgia to meet (for the first time) my third cousins - direct descendants of my GGGrandmother, Louisa White Robinson.”
Bernice McFadden

During World War II, two African American musicians are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp.

The Book of Harlan opens with the courtship of Harlan’s parents and his 1917 birth in Macon, Georgia. After his prominent minister grandfather dies, Harlan and his parents move to Harlem, where he becomes a musician. Soon, Harlan and his best friend, trumpeter Lizard Robbins, are lured across the Atlantic Ocean to perform at a popular cabaret in the Parisian enclave of Montmartre—affectionately referred to as “The Harlem of Paris” by black American musicians.

When the City of Light falls under Nazi occupation, Harlan and Lizard are thrown into Buchenwald, the notorious concentration camp in Weimar, Germany. The experience irreparably changes the course of Harlan”s life.

Based on exhaustive research and told in McFadden’s mesmeric prose, The Book of Harlan skillfully blends the stories of McFadden’s familial ancestors with those of real and imagined characters.


Click for more detail about The Cocaine Chronicles by Gary Phillips and Jervey Tervalon The Cocaine Chronicles

by Gary Phillips and Jervey Tervalon
Akashic Books (Nov 29, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The best stories in The Cocaine Chronicles . . . are equal to the best fiction being written today."
—New York Journal of Books

"While The Cocaine Chronicles is a hard, honest, uncompromising read and might not be for the faint of heart, the stories it tells all have to do with a drug that’s been around for a while and is not going anywhere. Also, some stories offer a bit of hope, which shine through as invitations to never give up."
—Austin Post

"The perfect stocking stuffer for your uncle in AA."
—New York Observer

"The Cocaine Chronicles is a pure, jangled hit of urban, gritty, and raw noir. Caution: these stories are addicting."
—Harlan Coben, award-winning author of Just One Look

"Every story is A+. All contributors are top notch. . . . Should be required reading for writers who want to master the craft of the short story."
—Cherry Bleeds

Original stories by Susan Straight, Lee Child, Laura Lippman, Ken Bruen, Jerry Stahl, Nina Revoyr, Bill Moody, Donnell Alexander, Deborah Vankin, Robert Ward, Manuel Ramos, and others.

Gary Phillips writes for several mediums from novels to screenplays to comic books, and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Jervey Tervalon is the author of All the Trouble You Need, Understand This, and the Los Angeles Times bestseller Dead Above Ground. He lives in Altadena, California.


Click for more detail about The Cocaine Chronicles (Akashic Drug Chronicles) by Gary Phillips and Jervey Tervalon The Cocaine Chronicles (Akashic Drug Chronicles)

by Gary Phillips and Jervey Tervalon
Akashic Books (Apr 01, 2005)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Fiction. Nothing to snort at, this ambitious anthology of jaw-grinding criminal behavior is masterfully curated by acclaimed authors Phillips and Tervalon. The contributors to this anthology of cocaine-themed stories include Susan Straight, Ken Bruen, Donnell Alexander, Letrice Johnson and more. Gary Phillips is the author of several crime fiction novels, including Bangers. Jervey Tervalon is the author of several books, including the Los Angeles Times best seller Dead Above Ground.


Click for more detail about The Duppy by Anthony C. Winkler The Duppy

by Anthony C. Winkler
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Oddball sexuality, acts of perversion, and out-of-order behavior from the acclaimed Jamaican author of The Lunatic and Dog War.


Click for more detail about The Family Mansion by Anthony C. Winkler The Family Mansion

by Anthony C. Winkler
Akashic Books (May 07, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The brutalities of Jamaica’s past and the myriad social and cultural contradictions that contributed to it are conveyed with a genuine fondness for this complicated and conflicted place. A surprising, and surprisingly sophisticated, approach to historical fiction."
—Publishers Weekly

?Jamaica-born Winkler opens a door into a cultural period beset by an inhumane system that poisons relationships between whites and blacks.”
—Kirkus Reviews

?[A] powerful and deeply moving tour de force. . . .Winkler submits imperialist dogma and the English aristocracy’s casual acceptance of violence and cruelty to punishing satirical critique. He takes special pleasure in redefining the idea of the ?English gentleman,’ embodied by his clueless and spoiled protagonist, Hartley Fudges, a terrifically rendered young English aristocrat who gets himself banished to Jamaica after attempting to kill his brother for his inheritance. VERDICT Essential reading for fans of literary fiction.”
—Library Journal

"Winkler has a fine ear for patois and dialogue, and a love of language that makes bawdy jokes crackle."
—New Yorker

"A riveting social commentary on British nobility forced onto an undeveloped island, this isn’t Robert Crawley meets Bob Marley circa 1800s—although one could imagine Downton Abbey’s Maggie Smith uttering a few of the biting and sarcastic lines throughout this humorous page-turner."
—Atlantan Magazine

"Jamaican-born novelist Anthony Winkler’s forthcoming novel, Family Mansion, conjures up the cruelties of slavery with the author’s trademark irreverence and wit . . . The first two novels of Winkler’s captivating trilogy are rife with hypnotic imagery and fascinating historical asides. They evoke the colonial world with erudition, irony, and complexity, and should be read by anyone interested in the broader implications of empire."
—Brooklyn Rail

"The Family Mansion is written with the comic sensibility of Wodehouse and the insightful social comment of Orwell."
—Midwest Book Review

"In The Family Mansion, Anthony C. Winkler continues his exploration begun in God Carlos of Europe’s colonization of Jamaica; whereas the latter focused on the brutality of the sixteenth-century Spanish invaders, this new (and surprisingly adventurous) novel sets its sights on the ravages of the more ’dignified’ British conquistadors. Bringing history to life via the quixotic character of Hartley Fudges is an impressive enough feat, but it is Winkler’s uncanny ability to add uproarious humor to this shameful history that sets The Family Mansion apart from the standard fare of historical fiction."
—Colin Channer, author of The Girl with the Golden Shoes

The Family Mansion tells the story of Hartley Fudges, whose personal destiny unfolds against the backdrop of nineteenth-century British culture, a time when English society was based upon the strictest subordination and stratification of the classes. Hartley’s decision to migrate to Jamaica at the age of twenty-three seems sensible at first: in the early 1800s Jamaica was far and away the richest and most opulent of all the crown colonies. But for all its fabulous wealth, Jamaica was a difficult and inhospitable place for an immigrant.

The complex saga of Hartley’s life is revealed in vivid scenes that depict the vicissitudes of ninteenth-century English and Jamaican societies. Aside from violent slave revolts, newcomers had to survive the nemesis of the white man in the tropics?namely, yellow fever. With Hartley’s point of view as its primary focus, the narrative transports readers to exotic lands, simultaneously exploring the brutality of England’s slavery-based colonization.


Click for more detail about The Game Don’t Change The Players Do… by Mazaradi Fox The Game Don’t Change The Players Do…

by Mazaradi Fox
Infamous Books (Nov 01, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The posthumous novel from legendary Queens rapper Mazaradi Fox, who was a member a 50 Cent's G-Unit crew.

The Game Don’t Change is a story from the streets, where life and death are closer than you think. Mazaradi Fox knew how to play the game better than most, and his life and experience shine through every page of this tough and unsentimental book. An instant classic of NYC thug life.”—Prodigy of Mobb Deep

Mazaradi Fox wrote this novel in 2013 during his incarceration at the Orleans Correctional Facility. The Game Don’t Change opens when DeMarco Jones escapes from a juvenile detention facility. Successfully evading the law, DeMarco builds his reputation on the streets of Queens as a fearless and charismatic drug hustler. Though he is only sixteen, women of all ages can’t get enough of DeMarco. As he finds, however, he must battle ferociously to maintain his new kingpin status.


Click for more detail about The Girl with The Golden Shoes by Colin Channer The Girl with The Golden Shoes

by Colin Channer
Akashic Books (May 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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A dazzling coming-of-age novella by Jamaica’s best-selling writer.


Click for more detail about The Gospel According to Cane by Courttia Newland The Gospel According to Cane

by Courttia Newland
Akashic Books (Feb 05, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Nominated for the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Fiction!

Publishers Weekly has named The Gospel According to Cane a 2012-13 "Notable African-American Title"

"A mother’s love is unbreakable, as Frank O’Connor Award?nominee Newland demonstrates in his latest novel…The storytelling is as captivating as the story itself. Newland, a Jamaican-born British writer, seamlessly integrates the joy, fear, uncertainty, and sadness…Newland’s prose is beautiful. His novel—part homecoming narrative in the vein of Toni Morrison’s Beloved and part haunting tale of loss similar to Ernest Gaines’s In My Father’s House—will appeal to all lovers of literary fiction."
—Library Journal

"The emotional tension is sometimes almost unbearable as a mother and son attempt to build a relationship out of their shared pain. A unique and very moving novel."
—Booklist

"The characters are finely drawn with realistic ambiguity and genuinely exhibit the durability of grief and pain."
—Publishers Weekly

"Newland delivers an intense portrait of mental conflict against a gritty inner-city background. The book we are reading is Beverley Cottrell’s journal…This ’journal of my pain,’ becomes a spiral of cathartic violence during which Newland deftly keeps the reader guessing."
—Kirkus Reviews

"As Bev confesses in her journals to events that make her appear less than the fragile idealist she first appeared, Newland’s tale gathers pace and tension. Violence becomes a real possibility. Happy ending or sad? Newland delivers a bit of both in this complex, cathartic portrait of an intelligent, if not always sensible woman, who refuses any longer to be defined by loss."
—Toronto Star

"What could be a simple, emotive story of grief and redemption becomes, in Newland’s hands, something more complex…The Gospel According to Cane is a page-turner, merging serious literary fiction with social commentary. Those interested in a fresh, vibrant take on contemporary London life should add it to their shelves."
—Switchback

"Throughout The Gospel According to Cane, Mr. Newland takes on…the meaning of family and the risks associated with helping those in distress…With realism and without sanctimony, Mr. Newland successfully engages some of the most difficult questions we will ever face."
—New York Journal of Books

Beverley Cottrell had a dream life: a prestigious job, a beautiful husband and baby boy. This is stolen from her one winter afternoon when her son Malakay is kidnapped from a parked car. Despite a media campaign, a full police investigation, and the offer of a reward, Malakay is never found. Beverley’s marriage soon dissolves and her husband immigrates from England to the U.S. with a new wife.

Beverley gives up her job, sells the house, and moves from the leafy suburbs to the inner city to reside in a west London housing project. She cocoons herself in grief, growing more isolated with each passing year. After two decades she gives up any hope of finding her son. She teaches children who have been expelled from school in the local community center, bright kids thrown on society’s scrap heap.

Beverley starts to believe she has finally pieced her life together?until a young man starts appearing wherever she goes. Beverley is convinced that he’s stalking her. One dark evening the stalker gets past her security door and calls through her letterbox. He tells her not to be scared. He says that he is Malakay, her son.

The Gospel According to Cane is a novel about inner-city youth in contemporary London. It’s a meditation on pain and loss, the burden of heritage, and how the past can blur the present. It’s about trust and the perceived lack of trust, disillusion, and its consequences. A world where everyone is the victim, and no one is to blame.


Click for more detail about The Half That’s Never Been Told: The Real-Life Reggae Adventures of Doctor Dread by Doctor Dread The Half That’s Never Been Told: The Real-Life Reggae Adventures of Doctor Dread

by Doctor Dread
Akashic Books (Mar 03, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Impassioned and engaging."
—Booklist

"A heartfelt tribute to Caribbean roots music and those who keep it alive."
—Kirkus Reviews

"In 1972, Gary Himelfarb…heard reggae music for the first time and fell in love. He embraced the music…with a passion that he matched with a genuine curiosity about Jamaican culture and sincere friendships with musicians there….There is a sweetness and sincerity to the best parts of the book….Dread’s serious case of ’reggaemylitis’ gave him some remarkable experiences."
—Publishers Weekly

"The book is a tale of business, family, ethics, health, and survival…an entertaining read."
—Washington City Paper

"A gem…Real music heads will truly enjoy this book….For anyone who is a fan of Reggae music, this book is a must-have."
—Baltimore Times

"A nice read…hilarious and spellbinding."
—Caribbean Life

"Doctor Dread may just prove to be as gripping a storyteller as he was a record producer. In this revelatory vignette-filled offering, he bends the rules with an unorthodox literary style, unveiling a torrent of chronicles that are spontaneous, colorful, richly authentic and brazen. This is a unique work on many levels. Doctor Dread does offer new and intimate insights into the legends of Jamaican culture….Highly recommended."
—Jamaica Gleaner

"Full of heart and soul as well as photos from many of the author’s greatest moments, it is a must for anybody interested in reggae music and its cast of characters or the music business in general."
—Reggaeville

"This book should be on the shelf of any serious lover of reggae…Not only is Himelfarb a great storyteller…he is also a talented writer."
—FDRMX

"An inside perspective of the reggae music phenomenon…[Dread] explains how his decision to form the RAS label came at a tragic but important moment in music history, as the death of Bob Marley in 1981 led to a market eager for the earthy sounds of reggae. Dread also relates fine portrayals of legends like Philip ’Fatis’ Burrell, the many Marleys, Freddie McGregor, and Bunny Wailer."
—Insights

"This easily readable memoir does far more than chart the label’s ebbs and flows….Delightfully candid and brutally honest, this is a must-read for all reggae fans."
—MOJO Magazine (UK)

"Hugely compelling page-turner….a no-nonsense tome that gives intimate portraits of Jamaican music’s most colorful characters, and sheds light on the individual world view of Doctor Dread, with many ’twilight zone’ incidents, lots of confliction, and a good deal of redemption too….Recommended reading for all reggae fans."
—Riddim Magazine (Germany)

"Absolutely not to be missed!"
—HotMC (Italy)

With an introduction by Bunny Wailer.

Doctor Dread has committed his life to producing reggae music and releasing it on his label, RAS Records. He has become one of the world’s foremost reggae producers, and has worked with almost all the genre’s icons: Bunny Wailer, Black Uhuru, Ziggy and Damian Marley, Gregory Isaacs, etc. This book, full of behind-the-scenes stories, has shocking chapters that will reveal aspects of reggae never before explored.


Click for more detail about The Hungered One: Short Stories (Renegade Reprint Series) by Ed Bullins The Hungered One: Short Stories (Renegade Reprint Series)

by Ed Bullins
Akashic Books (Jan 01, 2009)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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?A richness of language and observation pervades this collection of short stories by a black writer about real black people.”?The New York Times Book Review

These early writings from award-winning playwright Ed Bullins explore loneliness and despair in beautifully crafted stories.

Ed Bullins has written numerous plays and fiction, including In the Wine Time, Goin’ a Buffalo, Clara’s Ole Man, and The Taking of Miss Janie, which received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play of the 1974?1975 season. His book of short fiction, The Hungered One: Early Writings, was originally published in 1971.


Click for more detail about The Lost Treasures Of R&B (A D Hunter Mystery) by Nelson George The Lost Treasures Of R&B (A D Hunter Mystery)

by Nelson George
Akashic Books (Feb 03, 2013)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Click for more detail about The Lost Treasures of R&B (A D Hunter Mystery) by Nelson George The Lost Treasures of R&B (A D Hunter Mystery)

by Nelson George
Akashic Books (Feb 03, 2015)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Nominated for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Eagles Literary Prize for Fiction

"This is a fine mystery and [protagonist] D Hunter is as world weary, yet steadfast, as Philip Marloew, Spenser, Dave Robicheaux, or Easy Rawlins. A definite yes to purchase for both mystery and African American collections."
—Library Journal (Starred Review, Pick of the Month)

"George covers a lot of ground with style: the rhythm-and-blues music scene past and present, the sometimes startling evolution of Brooklyn and its environs, and the multitude of hangers-on, wannabes, and grifters who want a piece of the action."
—Publishers Weekly

"Real relationships and real talk frame the mashup of mysteries in George’s street-framed series."
—Kirkus Reviews

"The wonderful sing-song street slang dialogue and esoteric industry knowledge make The Lost Treasures of R&B a richly entertaining addition to George’s evolving series."
—Shelf Awareness

"George uses The Lost Treasures of R&B to tackle the hot-button issue of the gentrification of Brooklyn (and elsewhere) as protagonist D struggles to come to terms with the ghosts of his childhood in ’old Brooklyn.’"
—Philadelphia Tribune

"Written in the spirit of authors such as Walter Mosley and Donald Goines…The book blends music from the past with thug appeal of the present to appeal to young and old alike."
—Baltimore Times

"George is a historian of his culture."
—The Stranger

"Hunter is back in Brooklyn solving a mystery that has a backdrop firmly on the R&B scene."
—NBCBLK, 14 Books to Read This Black History Month

"Like its predecessor this installment of D’s story fuses music, history, and crime on the streets of New York."
—Flavorpill NYC

"Nelson George delivers an entertaining and hard-boiled look at the music scene, and raises the question of proprietary rights and black culture."
—MysteryPeople, One of Three Picks for February

"As a huge R&B fan, when I ran across the title, The Lost Treasures of R&B, I just had to read it…and I’m glad I did."
—Underrated Reads

Professional bodyguard D Hunter takes a gig protecting rapper Asya Roc at an underground fight club in poverty-stricken Brownsville, Brooklyn. Unknown to D, the rapper has arranged to purchase illegal guns at the event. An acquaintance of D from the streets (and from the novel The Plot Against Hip Hop) named Ice turns out to be the courier.

During the exchange a robbery is attempted. Ice is wounded. D gets Asya Roc to safety but is then chased by two gunmen because he has the bag containing the guns. This lethal chase ends under the elevated subway where D and the two gunmen run into a corrupt detective named Rivera. A bloody shootout ensues.

D, who has just moved back to Brooklyn after decades in Manhattan, finds himself involved in multiple mysteries. Who were the gunmen? Why were they after the guns? Who was being set up—Asya Roc or Ice? Meanwhile, he gets a much-needed paying assignment to track down the rarest soul music single ever recorded.

With gentrifying Brooklyn as the backdrop, D works to unravel various mysteries—both criminal and musical—while coming to terms with the failure of his security company and the ghosts of his childhood in "old Brooklyn." Like its predecessors The Accidental Hunter and The Plot Against Hip Hop, The Lost Treasures of R&B uses pop music as the backdrop for a noir-flavored big-city tale.


Click for more detail about The Lunatic by Anthony Winkler The Lunatic

by Anthony Winkler
Akashic Books (Jun 01, 2007)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The first-ever Us publication of this Caribbean classic upon which a feature film by the same title is based.


Click for more detail about The Perpetrators by Gary Phillips The Perpetrators

by Gary Phillips
Uglytown Productions (Aug 01, 2002)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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With the clock ticking, the story jumps off in the border town of Tijuana, Mexico. A smooth cat who labels himself an expeditor must survive a gauntlet of hitters and freaks to deliver his client alive to their destination. She’s a high maintenance drug queen who’s made a deal with the top cop in California’s state capitol, Sacramento. By all means of transportation and dodging devastation, and busting some heads themselves, the two make their way north while behind-the-scenes machinations go down. Battered but not out, our man completes his assignment only to find out all ain’t what it seems — but then, he’s not getting two million just to look good. And handling fools, no matter how they trip, comes with the territory.


Click for more detail about The Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel (A D Hunter Mystery) by Nelson George The Plot Against Hip Hop: A Novel (A D Hunter Mystery)

by Nelson George
Akashic Books (Nov 01, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"George is an ace at interlacing the real dramas of the world . . . the book’s slim length and flyweight depth could make it an artifact of this particular zeitgeist in American history. Playas and haters and celebrity cameos fuel a novel that is wickedly entertaining while being frozen in time."
—Kirkus Reviews

"This hard-boiled tale is jazzed up with authentic street slang and name-dropping (Biggie, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, and Chuck D) . . . George’s tightly packaged mystery pivots on a believable conspiracy . . . and his street cred shines in his descriptions of Harlem and Brownsville’s mean streets."
—Library Journal

"George is a well-known, respected hip-hop chronicler . . . Now he adds crime fiction to his resume with a carefully plotted crime novel peopled by believable characters and real-life hip-hop personalities."
—Booklist

"The most accomplished black music critic of his generation."
—The Washington Post Book World

"Perhaps one of the greatest books ever written. It has the realness of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the warmth of The Color Purple, and the page count of Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a must-read."
—Chris Rock on City Kid

The Plot Against Hip Hop is a noir novel set in the world of hip hop culture. The stabbing murder of esteemed music critic Dwayne Robinson in a Soho office building is dismissed by the NYPD as a gang initiation. But his old friend, bodyguard and security expert D Hunter, suspects there are larger forces at work.

D Hunter’s investigation into his mentor’s murder leads into a parallel history of hip hop, a place where renegade government agents, behind-the-scenes power brokers, and paranoid journalists know a truth that only a few hardcore fans suspect. This rewrite of hip hop history mixes real-life figures with characters pulled from the culture’s hidden world, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Russell Simmons.


Click for more detail about The Roving Tree by Elsie Augustave The Roving Tree

by Elsie Augustave
Open Lens (May 07, 2013)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“…gorgeous new novel about a Haitian adoptee finding her way in many different corners of the world.”—Edwidge Danticat, New York Times

“Augustave creates a stunning tale with beautiful language that dwells in the realm of magical realism…The characters are rich, complicated and full of color and nuance.”—Mosaic Magazine
Elsie Augustave’s debut novel, The Roving Tree, explores multiple themes: separation and loss, rootlessness, the impact of class privilege and color consciousness, and the search for cultural identity. The central character, Iris Odys, is the offspring of Hagathe, a Haitian maid, and Brahami, a French-educated mulatto father who cares little about his child.

Hagathe, who had always dreamt of a better life for her child, is presented with the perfect opportunity when Iris is five years old. Adopted by a white American couple, an anthropologist and art gallery owner, Iris is transported from her tiny remote Haitian village, Monn Neg, to an American suburb.

The Roving Tree illuminates how imperfectly assimilated adoptees struggle to remember their original voices and recapture their personal histories and cultural legacy. Set between two worlds, suburban America and Haiti under the oppressive regime of Papa Doc’s Tanton Macoutes, the novel offers a unique literary glimpse into the deeply entrenched class discrimination and political repression of Haiti during the Duvalier era, along with the subtle but nonetheless dangerous effects of American racism.

Told from beyond the grave, Iris seamlessly shares her poignant and pivotal life experiences. The Roving Tree, underscored by the spiritual wisdom of Haitian griots, offers insightful revelations of the importance of significant relationships with family and friends. Years later, we see how these elements are transformative to Iris’s intense love affair, and her personal and professional growth. Universal truths resonate beyond the pages of this work.


Click for more detail about The Sexy Part of the Bible (Akashic Urban Surreal Series) by Kola Boof The Sexy Part of the Bible (Akashic Urban Surreal Series)

by Kola Boof
Akashic Books (Jun 21, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Number 7 on HEY, SMALL PRESS’s Best Of 2011 list (heysmallpress.org)!

"From the malignant forces of racism and sexism to corruption and cloning, Boof catwalks her way through a shrewdly satirical, erotic, and suspenseful novel of defiance."
—Booklist

"Boof spins surrealism, sci-fi, racial politics, feminism, religious debate, postcolonial theory, and more into a thought-provoking, suspenseful novel that manages to keep intriguing characters afloat in a roiling sea of crazy rhetoric."
—Publishers Weekly

"The most jubilant celebration of black African beauty so far seen in the English language."
—Madison Smartt Bell, Boston Globe

Following in the footsteps of her idols Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, Kola Boof asserts her own literary prowess with a chilling sociopolitical love story.

Set in modern West Africa, Europe, and the United States, and featuring the kind of heroine readers rarely get to encounter in popular culture—beautiful charcoal-skinned Eternity, a spirited and diabolical young African hellcat whose life is stigmatized by a heart-stopping secret—The Sexy Part of the Bible is an erotically astute novel filled with mystery and adventure.

Enveloped in the arms of a domineering Fela Kuti–type rap star and revolutionary named Sea Horse Twee, Eternity finds herself miraculously surviving several African rebellions—and in the interim, she powerfully unmasks the science of cloning, which becomes a powerful metaphor in the story.

Kola Boof is the author of several novels and poetry collections, including Flesh and the Devil and Nile River Woman. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s and the story collection Politically Inspired. Her autobiography, Diary of a Lost Girl, was published in 2006. She has been interviewed by MSNBC, FOX News, and CNN and has been featured in TV Guide, Time, New York Post, and The New York Times. She lives in southern California.


Click for more detail about The System of Dante’s Hell (AkashiClassics: Renegade Reprint Series) by Amiri Baraka The System of Dante’s Hell (AkashiClassics: Renegade Reprint Series)

by Amiri Baraka
Akashic Books (Jan 05, 2016)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"Much of the novel is an expression of the intellectual and moral lost motion of the age…the special agony of the American Negro."
—New York Times Book Review

With a new introduction by Woodie King Jr.

This 1965 novel is a remarkable narrative of childhood and youth, structured on the themes of Dante’s Inferno: violence, incontinence, fraud, treachery. With a poet’s skill Baraka creates the atmosphere of hell, and with dramatic power he reconstructs the brutality of the black slums of Newark, a small Southern town, and New York City. The episodes contained within the novel represent both states of mind and states of the soul—lyrical, fragmentary, and allusive.


Click for more detail about The Warmest December by Bernice L. McFadden The Warmest December

by Bernice L. McFadden
Akashic Books (Jan 31, 2012)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“McFadden’s reissued second novel takes an unflinching look at the corrosive nature of alcoholism… This is not a story of easy redemption… McFadden writes candidly about the treacherous hold of addiction.” —Publishers Weekly

“Riveting… So nicely avoids the sentimentality that swirls around the subject matter. I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes.” —Toni Morrison, author of Beloved

The Warmest December is the incredibly moving story of one Brooklyn family and the alcoholism that determined years of their lives. Narrated by Kenzie Lowe, a young woman reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John, as she visits her dying father and finds that choices she once thought beyond her control are very much hers to make.


Click for more detail about The White House by JaQuavis Coleman The White House

by JaQuavis Coleman
Infamous Books (May 27, 2014)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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"The White House is a fast-paced thriller that doesn’t disappoint."
—Urban Reviews

"White House by JaQuavis Coleman starts with a bang and will leave you wanting more."
—Book Referees

"Kidnapping, murder, and mayhem lead [Draya]—and the reader—through a harrowing and twisting plot to an explosive ending that no one sees coming."
—Reading in Black & White

"The White House is one of my most personal books ever. I took from a real-life situation and told a story that has been Detroit’s secret for years. I’m bringing that to the forefront with my own twist. This venture with Infamous and Akashic feels right…It feels good. They are very in tune with my culture and style of writing which makes this a perfect situation for me."
—JaQuavis Coleman on The White House

The White House is based on true events, reimagining the dark chronicles of a notorious drug kingpin’s death, and the unfortunate events that followed.

The young heroine Draya lives paycheck to paycheck, laboring as a maid in a luxurious white house. One day, in the course of performing her duties, she is presented with an irresistible opportunity for a quick—and risky—payday. What unfolds in the white house changes the course of her life. Kidnapping, murder, and mayhem lead her—and the reader—through a harrowing and twisting plot to an explosive ending that no one sees coming. Look through the eyes of this young woman and glimpse how a life can forever be altered due to an unfortunate series of events—all touched off in a legendary white house.

Infamous Books, curated by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson of the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new.


Click for more detail about The White House by JaQuavis Coleman The White House

by JaQuavis Coleman
Infamous Books (May 27, 2014)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"White House by JaQuavis Coleman starts with a bang and will leave you wanting more."
—Book Referees

"Kidnapping, murder, and mayhem lead [Draya]—and the reader—through a harrowing and twisting plot to an explosive ending that no one sees coming."
—Reading in Black & White

"The White House is one of my most personal books ever. I took from a real-life situation and told a story that has been Detroit’s secret for years. I’m bringing that to the forefront with my own twist. This venture with Infamous and Akashic feels right…It feels good. They are very in tune with my culture and style of writing which makes this a perfect situation for me."
—JaQuavis Coleman on The White House

The White House is based on true events, reimagining the dark chronicles of a notorious drug kingpin’s death, and the unfortunate events that followed.

The young heroine Draya lives paycheck to paycheck, laboring as a maid in a luxurious white house. One day, in the course of performing her duties, she is presented with an irresistible opportunity for a quick—and risky—payday. What unfolds in the white house changes the course of her life. Kidnapping, murder, and mayhem lead her—and the reader—through a harrowing and twisting plot to an explosive ending that no one sees coming. Look through the eyes of this young woman and glimpse how a life can forever be altered due to an unfortunate series of events—all touched off in a legendary white house.

Infamous Books, curated by Albert "Prodigy" Johnson of the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, is a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new.


Click for more detail about To Funk and Die in LA (A D Hunter Mystery) by Nelson George To Funk and Die in LA (A D Hunter Mystery)

by Nelson George
Akashic Books (Sep 05, 2017)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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"Ex-bodyguard D Hunter travels from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to investigate the circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s murder in the fourth entry in this series by critic and journalist George…read this for its passionate and unresolved argument about the still-beating heart of R&B."
—Kirkus Reviews"To Funk and Die in LA is a supercharged spin through the dynamic, ever-changing neighborhoods of urban LA. Nelson George’s new book is full of music, secrets, heart, and more than a little heartbreak."
—Nina Revoyr, author of Southland"Inventive and well-written…I really enjoyed To Funk and Die in LA."
—Don Winslow, author of SavagesPraise for the D Hunter Series:"D Hunter is as world weary, yet steadfast, as Philip Marlowe, Spenser, Dave Robicheaux, or Easy Rawlins."
—Library Journal (starred review, Pick of the Month)"Written in the spirit of authors such as Walter Mosley and Donald Goines…The book blends music from the past with thug appeal of the present to appeal to young and old alike."
—Baltimore Times, on The Lost Treasures of R&BTo Funk and Die in LA, the fourth book in the D Hunter crime-fiction series, brings the ex-bodyguard to the City of Angels on a very dark mission when his grandfather, businessman Daniel "Big Danny" Hunter, is shot dead in a drive-by. Why would someone execute a grocery store owner? D soon finds there was more to Big Danny’s life than selling loaves of bread. The old man, it turns out, was deeply involved with Dr. Funk, a legendary musical innovator who has become a mysterious recluse.Most of the novel takes place in the LA neighborhoods of Crenshaw, Koreatown, and Pico-Union—areas where black, Asian, and Latino cultures intersect away from the glamour of Hollywood—and echoes of the 1992 riots play a significant role in D’s investigation. In the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Walter Mosley, D Hunter rides through the mean streets of Los Angeles seeking truth and not always finding justice.


Click for more detail about Trinidad Noir (Akashic Noir) by Lisa Allen-Agostini Trinidad Noir (Akashic Noir)

by Lisa Allen-Agostini
Akashic Books (Aug 01, 2008)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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The Caribbean provides no shelter from the delicious terror of the Akashic Noir Series.


Click for more detail about Trinidad Noir: The Classics (Akashic Noir) by Earl Lovelace and Robert Antoni Trinidad Noir: The Classics (Akashic Noir)

by Earl Lovelace and Robert Antoni
Akashic Books (May 02, 2017)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Classic stories by: C.L.R. James, Derek Walcott, Samuel Selvon, Eric Roach, V.S. Naipaul, Harold Sonny Ladoo, Michael Anthony, Earl Lovelace, Robert Antoni, Elizabeth Nunez, Ismith Khan, Lawrence Scott, Wayne Brown, Jennifer Rahim, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, Sharon Millar, Barbara Jenkins, and Shani Mootoo.From the introduction by Earl Lovelace:Where Trinidad is different even from its Caribbean sisters is the degree to which it has developed its folk arts—its carnival, its steel band, its music—as forms of both rebellion and mediation. These forms have not only continued to entertain us; they ritualize rebellion, speak out against oppression, and affirm the personhood of the downpressed. This rebellion is not evident with the same intensity as it used to be. Independence and political partisanship and the growing distance of the middle class from the folk, among other developments, have seen a fluctuation in the ideals of rebellion. Yet what is incontestable is that these arts have established and maintained a safe space for conflict to be resolved or at least expressed, not in a vacuum but in the face of a status quo utilizing its muscle and myths to maintain a narrative that upholds its interests.As the situation becomes more complex and information more crucial, our literature is best placed to challenge or to consolidate these myths. Individually, we are left to decide on whose behalf our writing will be employed. In this situation, the struggle has been within the arts themselves—whether they see themselves as an extension of rebellion or art as entertainment. Although late on the scene and without the widespread appeal of the native and folk arts, our literature can lay claim to being part of these arts of rebellion, upholding and making visible the dismissed and ignored, lifting the marginalized into personhood, persuading us that a new world is required, and establishing this island as a place in which it can be imagined and created.


Click for more detail about Wingshooters by Nina Revoyr Wingshooters

by Nina Revoyr
Akashic Books (Feb 08, 2011)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin--a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town’s most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son’s marriage to Michelle’s mother but dotes on his only grandchild.

This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young black couple from Chicago. The Garretts’ presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn—when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial accusation against one of the town leaders, who is also Charlie LeBeau’s best friend.

In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, A River Runs Through It, and Snow Falling on Cedars, Revoyr’s new novel examines the effects of change on a small, isolated town, the strengths and limits of community, and the sometimes conflicting loyalties of family and justice. Set in the expansive countryside of Central Wisconsin, against the backdrop of Vietnam and the post-civil rights era, Wingshooters explores both connection and loss as well as the complex but enduring bonds of family.









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Printed: August 19, 2017, 8:25 pm
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