47 Books Published by Grove Atlantic, Inc. on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about 1959: A Novel by Thulani Davis 1959: A Novel

by Thulani Davis
Grove Press (Sep 02, 2001)
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Thulani Davis’s 1959 is a powerful, poignant coming-of-age novel that captures a dramatic moment in American history as clearly as a photograph. It’s the summer of 1959 and Willie Tarrant of Turner, Virginia, is twelve. Her father and other adults in the town are worried about integration — how it will affect their children’s safety and the quality of their education — but for Willie it’s just another problem she’s going to have to deal with, like her chores and beginning to go out with boys. Willie and her friends — kids from good families with good grades — are being groomed to be sent in the first wave. Before this can happen, though, eight black college students, wearing suits and fresh haircuts, go into the Woolworth’s lunch counter — changing everything. In 1959 one of the most talented writers of her generation has written a book that will become a classic of civil rights literature.


Click for more detail about A Dying Colonialism by Frantz Fanon A Dying Colonialism

by Frantz Fanon
Grove Press (Jan 14, 1994)
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An incisive and illuminating account of how, during the Algerian Revolution, the people of Algeria changed centuries-old cultural patterns and embraced certain ancient cultural practices long derided by their colonialist oppressors as primitive, in order to destroy those same oppressors. Fanon uses the fifth year of the Algerian Revolution as a point of departure for an explication of the inevitable dynamics of colonial oppression.


Click for more detail about A Killing in This Town: A Novel by Olympia Vernon A Killing in This Town: A Novel

by Olympia Vernon
Grove Press (Jan 11, 2007)
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Award-winning author Olympia Vernon’s third novel, A Killing in This Town, is a taut, poetic masterpiece that exhumes a horrific epoch from the annals of the American South.

There is a menace in the woods of Bullock County, Mississippi, and not only for the black man destined to be lynched when a white boy comes of age. The white men who work at the Plant are in danger, too, but they refuse to heed Earl Thomas’s urgent message that the factory is slowly killing them; turning a deaf ear to the black pastor. Thomas knows he should try to deliver the message again, but he hears the blood of his murdered friend calling to him from the ground, and fears that he will be the next black man to be dragged to his death. Adam Pickens, a white boy now on the eve of his thirteenth birthday, isn’t sure he wants to wear the garb being readied for him by the Klan seamstress, or participate in the town’s ugly ritual. It is only when Gill Mender?a man haunted by past sins?returns that redemption seems possible. A transfixing and pivotal work of fiction, A Killing in This Town exposes the fragile hierarchy of a society poisoned by hatred, and shows the power of an individual to stand up to the demons of history and bring the cycle of violence to an end.


Click for more detail about An Untamed State by Roxane Gay An Untamed State

by Roxane Gay
Grove Press (May 06, 2014)
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Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father’s Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.


Click for more detail about Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna Ancestor Stones

by Aminatta Forna
Grove Press (Sep 10, 2007)
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Aminatta Forna, whose moving and gorgeously written memoir garnered international attention, has seamlessly turned her hand to fiction in Ancestor Stones a powerful, sensuous novel that beautifully captures Africa’s past century and her present, and the legacy that her daughters take with them wherever they live. Abie returns home from England to West Africa to visit her family after years of civil war, and to reclaim the family plantation, Kholifa Estates, formerly owned by her grandfather. There to meet her are her aunts: Asana, Mariama, Hawa, and Serah, and so begins her gathering of the family and the country’s history through the tales of her aunts. Asana, lost twin and head wife’s daughter. Hawa, motherless child and manipulator of her own misfortune. Mariama, who sees what lies beyond. And Serah, follower of a Western made dream. Set against the backdrop of a nation’s descent into chaos, it is the take a family and four women’s attempts to alter the course of their own destiny. A wonderful achievement recalling The God of Small Things and The Joy Luck Club, it establishes Aminatta Forna as a gifted novelist.


Click for more detail about Ancestor Stones: A Novel by Aminatta Forna Ancestor Stones: A Novel

by Aminatta Forna
Atlantic Monthly Press (Aug 14, 2006)
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The author of the rapturously acclaimed memoir The Devil That Danced on the Water seamlessly turns her hand to fiction and delivers a novel that is a lush and beautiful portrait of several generations of African women. In Ancestor Stones , a young woman from West Africa, who has lived in England for many years, returns after years of civil war. The family’s coffee plantation has been placed in her hands, and she turns to her aunts—women who were mysterious and a bit intimidating to her younger self—who begin to tell their stories. They are timeless tales of rivalrous co-wives, patriarchal society, and old religions challenged by Islamic and Christian incursions; they are modern stories of European-owned mining companies, the repressive influence of mission schools, corrupt elections, and the postcolonial African elite. Through their voices a family history interwoven with the history of a country emerges—one of a society both ancient and modern, of a family of strong women refusing to live as second-class citizens. Powerful and sensuously written, Ancestor Stones is a wonderful achievement that recalls The God of Small Things and The Joy Luck Club , and establishes Forna as a gifted novelist.


Click for more detail about At the Full and Change of the Moon by Dionne Brand At the Full and Change of the Moon

by Dionne Brand
Grove Press (Sep 30, 2000)
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Written with lyrical fire in a chorus of vividly rendered voices, Dionne Brand’s second novel is an epic of the African diaspora across the globe. It begins in 1824 on Trinidad, where Marie-Ursule, queen of a secret slave society called the Sans Peur Regiment, plots a mass suicide. The end of the Sans Peur is also the beginning of a new world, for Marie-Ursule cannot kill her young daughter, Bola — who escapes to live free and bear a dynasty of descendants who spill out across the Caribbean, North America, and Europe. Haunted by a legacy of passion and oppression, the children of Bola pass through two world wars and into the confusion, estrangement, and violence of the late twentieth century. "[Brand has] a lush and exuberant style that may put some readers in mind of Toni Morrison or Edwidge Danticat." — William Ferguson, The New York Times Book Review; "A delicately structured, beautifully written novel infused with rare emotional clarity." — Julie Wheelwright, The Independent (London); "Rich, elegiac, almost biblical in its rhythms . . . One of the essential works of our times." — The Globe & Mail (Toronto)


Click for more detail about August Frost by Monique Roffey August Frost

by Monique Roffey
Atlantic Monthly Press (Mar 01, 2003)
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A sparkling first novel, August Frost is a story of transformation and self-discovery from a writer of tremendous originality and maturity. August is a tall, pale, painfully shy young man with blood-orange hair and sun-shy eyes who hides his awkwardness working behind the counter of the gourmet deli in London’s Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood. One winter day he finds a rash on his arm that resembles the crystalline frost on his windowpane. Later, snow begins to fall around his head, and his fingers turn blue. Is it some rare disease that has triggered this strange reaction, or the appearance in the neighborhood of his mother’s old lover, Cosmo? Could it even be an allergy to the deli’s new orange cheese, which seems to mock his own coloring? As Cosmo taunts him with doubts about the identity of his father, August’s body changes with the seasons. Through a year’s wonderful metamorphosis snowstorm, heat wave, eclipse, and a search for the truth August changes into himself. August Frost is an enchanting book of extraordinary freshness and sensuality. Mingling lyrical depth and subtle wisdom, it will resonate in readers’ hearts long after the last page is turned.


Click for more detail about Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon Black Skin, White Masks

by Frantz Fanon
Grove Press (Jan 07, 1994)
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A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today. ?[Fanon] demonstrates how insidiously the problem of race, of color, connects with a whole range of words and images.” ? Robert Coles, The New York Times Book Review


Click for more detail about Born on a Tuesday: A Novel by Elnathan John Born on a Tuesday: A Novel

by Elnathan John
Black Cat (May 03, 2016)
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From two-time Caine Prize finalist Elnathan John, a dynamic young voice from Nigeria, Born on a Tuesday is a stirring, starkly rendered first novel about a young boy struggling to find his place in a society that is fracturing along religious and political lines.

In far northwestern Nigeria, Dantala lives among a gang of street boys who sleep under a kuka tree. During the election, the boys are paid by the Small Party to cause trouble. When their attempt to burn down the opposition’s local headquarters ends in disaster, Dantala must run for his life, leaving his best friend behind. He makes his way to a mosque that provides him with food, shelter, and guidance. With his quick aptitude and modest nature, Dantala becomes a favored apprentice to the mosque’s sheikh. Before long, he is faced with a terrible conflict of loyalties, as one of the sheikh’s closest advisors begins to raise his own radical movement. When bloodshed erupts in the city around him, Dantala must decide what kind of Muslim—and what kind of man—he wants to be. Told in Dantala’s nave, searching voice, this astonishing debut explores the ways in which young men are seduced by religious fundamentalism and violence.


Click for more detail about Carnival: A Novel by Robert Antoni Carnival: A Novel

by Robert Antoni
Black Cat (Jan 26, 2005)
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Robert Antoni has established himself as one of the most innovative voices to emerge from the Caribbean and the Americas. His ambitious third novel, Carnival, takes us on an expedition that stretches from contemporary New York City to the glitter of Trinidadian Carnival, and deep into the island’s mountainous interior. Narrator William Fletcher is an aspiring novelist who has come to New York to escape his affluent West Indian roots. A chance meeting in a Greenwich Village bar reunites him with two of his childhood companions: Laurence and the vivacious and stunning Rachel, William’s first love. Together, the three make a liquor-soaked pledge to return "home" to Trinidad for Carnival. The festival starts with passion and pleasure, but the Carnival ecstasy slides into a fog of ganja, alcohol, and the endless calypso beat. As William, Rachel, and Laurence journey to a remote area of the rainforest to "cool down" after the festival, the three hope for a secret paradise, hidden "behind God’s back," to begin anew. But even here the demons of history, prejudice, and hatred violently intrude, as the novel’s startling conclusion forces them to face both the power-and impotence-of human resilience and human love.


Click for more detail about City of God: A Novel by Paulo Lins City of God: A Novel

by Paulo Lins
Black Cat (Sep 14, 2006)
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The searing novel on which the internationally acclaimed hit film was based, City of God is a gritty, gorgeous tour de force from one of Brazil’s most notorious slums. Cidade de Deus: a place where the streets are awash with narcotics, where violence can erupt at any moment over drugs, money, and love?but also a place where the samba beat rocks till dawn, where the women are the most beautiful on earth, and where one young man wants to escape his background and become a photographer. When City of God erupted on screens worldwide, it became one of the most critically and commercially successful foreign films of recent years. But few were aware of the story behind the film. Written by Paulo Lins, who grew up in the favela (shantytown) Cidade de Deus in Rio e Janeiro and who spent years researching its gang history, City of God began life as a coruscating, harrowing novelistic account of twenty years in the illicit pursuits of the youth gangs born from the favela. Now available in English for the first time, City of God is a raw, powerful portrait of the countless millions of poor people all over the world.


Click for more detail about Dominion: A Novel by Calvin Baker Dominion: A Novel

by Calvin Baker
Grove Press (Jun 14, 2006)
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With Calvin Baker’s first two novels, Naming The New World and Once Two Heroes, he has continued to be acclaimed by the major media from the Los Angeles Times to Esquire. Now, with Dominion, Baker has written a lush, incantatory novel about three generations of an African American family in the years leading up to the Revolutionary War.

Dominion tells the story of the Merian family who, at the close of the seventeenth century, settle in the wilderness of the Carolinas. Jasper is the patriarch, freed from bondage, who manages against all odds to build a thriving estate with his new wife and two sons — one enslaved, the other free. For one hundred years, the Merian family struggles against the natural (and occasionally supernatural) world, colonial politics, the injustices of slavery, the Revolutionary War and questions of fidelity and the heart. Footed in both myth and modernity, Calvin Baker crafts a rich, intricate and moving novel, with meditations on God, responsibility, and familial legacies. While masterfully incorporating elements of the world’s oldest and greatest stories, the end result is a bold contemplation of the origins of America.


Click for more detail about Doom Fox by Iceberg Slim Doom Fox

by Iceberg Slim
Grove Press (Sep 21, 1998)
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Doom Fox is the last in Iceberg Slim’s legendary series of underground novels. Written in 1978 and unpublished until now, Doom Fox is a tale of the Los Angeles ghetto that begins just after World War II and spans the next thirty years. In the no-holds-barred tradition of Chester Himes, Doom Fox captures a violent, vivid world of low-riding chippie-catchers, prizefighters, prostitutes, and smooth-talking preachers.


Click for more detail about Eden by Olympia Vernon Eden

by Olympia Vernon
Grove Press (Dec 10, 2002)
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Eden is a fearless and wildly original debut, a powerhouse of a novel that explodes on the first page and sustains a tightrope intensity until the last. When fourteen-year-old Maddy Dangerfield draws a naked woman on the pages of Genesis in fire-engine-red lipstick during Sunday school, the rural black community of Pyke County, Mississippi, is scandalized. Her mother, mortified by the small-town gossip and determined to teach Maddy the perils of her youthful intelligence, forces her from then on to spend weekends caring for her estranged Aunt Pip, an outcast who lives on the wrong side of town and is dying of cancer. The lessons Maddy learns are ones that could not be taught in any church. Shuttling between the home she shares with her parents — endlessly locked in a cycle of resentment, violence, and only sporadic tenderness — and the house of tough, strong-minded Aunt Pip out on Commitment Road, Maddy feels her eyes gradually opening to the complicated dynamics that inform her world. As the once self-possessed, fiery Pip wastes away in body and spirit, Maddy is forced to confront the brutal finality of death and to contend with the ghosts that hover over

Pyke County — the violated body of Laurel Pillar, a young white girl raped in the field years before; Uncle Sugar, the black man said to have Laurel’s blood on his hands, in prison for life; Justice Bates, Sugar’s alleged accomplice, his broken body strung up and hanging from a tree; and the community of dead and dying women who have been ravaged by disease, in whom Maddy finds a terrible sort of comfort. In lush, vivid brush strokes, Olympia Vernon conjures a world that is both intoxicating and cruel, and illuminates the bittersweet transformation of the young girl who must bear the burden and blessing of its secrets too soon. Eden is a haunting, memorable novel propelled by the poetry and power of a voice that is complex, lyrical, and utterly true.

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Click for more detail about Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi Freshwater

by Akwaeke Emezi
Grove Press (Feb 13, 2018)
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An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: As?ghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves?now protective, now hedonistic?move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.

Narrated from the perspective of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author’s realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and mental health, plunging the reader into the mystery of being and self. Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.


Click for more detail about From Harvey River: A Memoir Of My Mother And Her Island by Lorna Goodison From Harvey River: A Memoir Of My Mother And Her Island

by Lorna Goodison
Grove Press (May 01, 2009)
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In her lovingly written, richly imaginative and effortlessly joyful memoir, poet Lorna Goodison weaves the history of her family - ’the fabulous Harvey girls’ - with the history of Jamaica. It is a powerful love letter to the people and places that have shaped her. ’Throughout her life my mother lived in two places at once: Kingston, Jamaica, where she raised a family of nine children, and Harvey River, in the parish of Hanover, where she was born and grew up.’ When Lorna’s great-grandfather, William Harvey, discovered a clearing at the end of a path trodden by the feet of escaping slaves, he gave his name to what was to become his family’s home for generations. For Lorna’s mother Doris, Jamaica’s Harvey River was the place she always called home, where she was one of the ’fabulous Harvey girls’ and the rich local bounty of yams, pimentos and mangoes went hand in hand with the Victorian niceties and comforts of her parents’ house. Years later, when her fortunes changed, it was a place she returned to in her dreams…She and her husband relocated to ’hard life’ Kingston and encountered the harsh realities of urban living in close quarters as they raise their family of nine children. Peopled with a cast of wonderfully drawn characters and written in a lush, vivid prose textured with the cadences of Creole, Lorna Goodison’s memoir weaves together memory and island lore to create a vivid and irresistible tapestry.


Click for more detail about God Says No by James Hannaham God Says No

by James Hannaham
Grove Press (Jun 08, 2010)
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Gary Gray marries his first girlfriend, a fellow student from Central Florida Christian College who loves Disney World as much as he does. They are nineteen, God-fearing, and eager to start a family, but a week before their wedding Gary goes into a rest-stop bathroom and lets something happen. God Says No is his testimony?the story of a young black Christian struggling with desire and belief, with his love for his wife and his appetite for other men, told in a singular, emotional voice. Driven by desperation and religious visions, the path that Gary Gray takes?from revival meetings to out life in Atlanta to a prayaway-the-gay ministry in Memphis, Tennessee?gives a riveting picture of how a life like his can be lived, and how it can’t.


Click for more detail about I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her by Joanna Conners I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her

by Joanna Conners
Atlantic Monthly Press (Apr 05, 2016)
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“This is it. My rape. I knew it was coming. Every woman knows. And now here it is. My turn.”

When Joanna Connors was thirty years old on assignment for the Cleveland Plain Dealer to review a play at a college theater, she was held at knife point and raped by a stranger who had grown up five miles away from her. Once her assailant was caught and sentenced, Joanna never spoke of the trauma again, until 21 years later when her daughter was about to go to college. She resolved then to tell her children about her own rape so they could learn and protect themselves, and she began to realize that the man who assaulted her was one of the formative people in her life.

Setting out to uncover the story of her attacker, Connors embarked on a journey to find out who he was, where he came from, who his friends were and what his life was like. What she discovers stretches beyond one violent man’s story and back into her own, interweaving a narrative about strength and survival with one about rape culture and violence in America.

I Will Find You is a brave, timely consideration of race, class, education and the families that shape who we become, by a reporter and a survivor.


Click for more detail about In Another Place, Not Here by Dionne Brand In Another Place, Not Here

by Dionne Brand
Grove Press (Feb 02, 2000)
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Acclaimed by Adrienne Rich as "fierce, sensuous . . . a work of great beauty and moral imagination," In Another Place, Not Here tells of two contemporary Caribbean women who find brief refuge in each other on an island in the midst of political uprising. Elizete, dreaming of running to another place to escape the harshness of her daily life on the island, meets Verlia, an urban woman in constant flight who has returned to her island birthplace with hopes of revolution. Their tumultuous story moves between city and island, past and future, fantasy and reality.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Jam On The Vine: A Novel by LaShonda Katrice Barnett Jam On The Vine: A Novel

by LaShonda Katrice Barnett
Grove Press (Feb 03, 2015)
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A new American classic: a dynamic tale of triumph against the odds and the compelling story of one woman’s struggle for equality that belongs alongside Jazz by Toni Morrison and The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Ivoe Williams, the precocious daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith from central-east Texas, first ignites her lifelong obsession with journalism when she steals a newspaper from her mother’s white employer. Living in the poor, segregated quarter of Little Tunis, Ivoe immerses herself in printed matter as an escape from her dour surroundings. She earns a scholarship to the prestigious Willetson College in Austin, only to return over-qualified to the menial labor offered by her hometown’s racially-biased employers.

Ivoe eventually flees the Jim Crow South with her family and settles in Kansas City, where she and her former teacher and lover, Ona, found the first female-run African American newspaper, Jam! On the Vine. In the throes of the Red Summer?the 1919 outbreak of lynchings and race riots across the Midwest?Ivoe risks her freedom, and her life, to call attention to the atrocities of segregation in the American prison system.

Skillfully interweaving Ivoe’s story with those of her family members, LaShonda Katrice Barnett’s Jam! On the Vine is both an epic vision of the hardships and injustices that defined an era and a moving and compelling story of a complicated history we only thought we knew.


Click for more detail about John Woman by Walter Mosley John Woman

by Walter Mosley
Atlantic Monthly Press (Sep 04, 2018)
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A convention-defying novel by bestselling writer Walter Mosley, John Woman recounts the transformation of an unassuming boy named Cornelius Jones into John Woman, an unconventional history professor?while the legacy of a hideous crime lurks in the shadows.

At twelve years old, Cornelius, the son of an Italian-American woman and an older black man from Mississippi named Herman, secretly takes over his father’s job at a silent film theater in New York’s East Village. Five years later, as Herman lives out his last days, he shares his wisdom with his son, explaining that the person who controls the narrative of history controls their own fate. After his father dies and his mother disappears, Cornelius sets about reinventing himself?as Professor John Woman, a man who will spread Herman’s teachings into the classrooms of his unorthodox southwestern university and beyond. But there are other individuals who are attempting to influence the narrative of John Woman, and who might know something about the facts of his hidden past.

Engaging with some of the most provocative ideas of recent intellectual history, John Woman is a compulsively readable, deliciously unexpected novel about the way we tell stories, and whether the stories we tell have the power to change the world.


Click for more detail about Logic by Olympia Vernon Logic

by Olympia Vernon
Atlantic Monthly Press (Apr 08, 2004)
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Olympia Vernon’s fearless and wildly original debut novel, Eden, was hailed by critics. In her second novel, Logic, Vernon returns to the Deep South to conjure up a breathtaking and tremendously powerful story of a young girl’s struggle to free herself from the unspeakable condition she refers to as "the butterflies floating inside" her. Thirteen-year-old Logic Harris almost died when she fell from a tree as a young girl. Since rescuing Logic that day, her mother, too, has secretly wished Logic had not survived the accident, and now ignores the increasingly apparent evidence of the aberrant attention

Logic’s father bestows upon his daughter. As she retreats to the Missis’ house down the street where she works as a domestic, Logic’s father withdraws further into paranoia, and Logic is left to navigate alone what she scarcely understands. Logic is populated with characters both strange and unmistakably real, all of them drawn with exquisite intensity. In inspired prose, stunning in its imaginative authority, Logic is a chilling allegory about the dangers of silence and a searing portrait of a girl lost in shame and fear, and a family and community too scarred by their own wounds to save her.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Lyrics  Alley: A Novel by Leila Aboulela Lyrics Alley: A Novel

by Leila Aboulela
Grove Press (Mar 01, 2011)
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Lyrics Alley is the evocative story of an affluent Sudanese family shaken by the shifting powers in their country and the near-tragedy that threatens the legacy they’ve built for decades.

In 1950’s Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud’s son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to the business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family stands divided in the face of an uncertain future. As British rule nears its end, the country is torn between modernizing influences and the call of traditions past—a conflict reflected in the growing tensions between Mahmoud’s two wives: the younger, Nabilah, longs to return to Egypt and escape "backward-looking" Sudan; while Waheeba lives traditionally behind veils and closed doors. It’s not until Nur asserts himself outside the cultural limits of his parents that his own spirit and the frayed bonds of his family begin to mend.

Moving from Sudanese alleys to cosmopolitan Cairo and a decimated postcolonial Britain, this sweeping tale of desire, loss, despair, and reconciliation is one of the most accomplished portraits ever written about Sudanese society at the time of independence.


Click for more detail about Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas Man Gone Down

by Michael Thomas
Black Cat (Jun 29, 1905)
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On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.


Click for more detail about Minaret: A Novel by Leila Aboulela Minaret: A Novel

by Leila Aboulela
Black Cat (Sep 01, 2005)
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Leila Aboulela’s American debut is a provocative, timely, and engaging novel about a young Muslim woman — once privileged and secular in her native land and now impoverished in London — gradually embracing her orthodox faith. With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. An upper-class Westernized Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. But a coup forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. Soon orphaned, she finds solace and companionship within the Muslim community. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer. They find a common bond in faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love. Written with directness and force, Minaret is a lyric and insightful novel about Islam and an alluring glimpse into a culture Westerners are only just beginning to understand.


Click for more detail about My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales by Robert Antoni My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales

by Robert Antoni
Grove Press (May 15, 2002)
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Robert Antoni took the literary world by storm with his first novel, Divina Trace, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and is widely recognized as a landmark in Caribbean literature. His second novel, Blessed Is the Fruit, received extraordinary literary praise and was hailed by Robert Olen Butler as "an enduring work of art." My Grandmother’s Erotic Folktales is a seductive collection of folktales retold by an exotic grandmother to her innocent young grandson. Set amid the lush landscape of the island of Corpus Christi during World War II, these erotic tales were originally meant to keep the U.S. servicemen who were stationed on the island out of the brothels and out of trouble. Now, in her ninety-seventh year, the widow tells these stories as a tapestry of interlocking and exaggerated memories all the more colorful for the retelling. "May infuse even the most jaded adult readers with a strangely rejuvenating delight." The Seattle Times "Sly as it is funny and revealing as it is bold." The Miami Herald "As surprising and luminous as a hidden tropical waterfall" The Washington Post


Click for more detail about Plot (Grove Press Poetry Series) by Claudia Rankine Plot (Grove Press Poetry Series)

by Claudia Rankine
Grove Press (Apr 09, 2001)
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In her third collection of poems, Claudia Rankine creates a profoundly daring, ingeniously experimental examination of pregnancy, childbirth, and artistic expression. Liv, an expectant mother, and her husband, Erland, are at an impasse from her reluctance to bring new life into a bewildering world. The couple’s journey is charted through conversations, dreams, memories, and meditations, expanding and exploding the emotive capabilities of language and form. A text like no other, it crosses genres, combining verse, prose, and dialogue to achieve an unparalleled understanding of creation and existence.


Click for more detail about S O S: Poems 1961-2013 by Amiri Baraka S O S: Poems 1961-2013

by Amiri Baraka
Grove Press (Feb 24, 2015)
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A New York Times Editors’ Choice

Fusing the personal and the political in high-voltage verse, Amiri Baraka?"whose long illumination of the black experience in America was called incandescent in some quarters and incendiary in others" (New York Times)?was one of the preeminent literary innovators of the past century. Selected by Paul Vangelisti, this volume comprises the fullest spectrum of Baraka’s rousing, revolutionary poems, from his first collection to previously unpublished pieces composed during his final years.

Throughout Baraka’s career as a prolific writer (also published as LeRoi Jones), he was vehemently outspoken against oppression of African American citizens, and he radically altered the discourse surrounding racial inequality. The environments and social values that inspired his poetics changed during the course of his life, a trajectory that can be traced in this retrospective spanning more than five decades of profoundly evolving subjects and techniques. Praised for its lyricism and introspection, his early poetry emerged from the Beat generation, while his later writing is marked by intensely rebellious fervor and subversive ideology. All along, his primary focus was on how to live and love in the present moment despite the enduring difficulties of human history.


Click for more detail about Searching for Zion by Emily Raboteau Searching for Zion

by Emily Raboteau
Grove Press (Feb 11, 2014)
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"I doubt there will be a more important work of nonfiction this year."— Dave Eggers

In this landmark work of narrative nonfiction, award-winning author Emily Raboteau journeys from Harlem to Israel, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Ghana and across the American South on a quest for the Black Promised Land. A memoir that penetrates Raboteau’s need for a homeland to call her own, Searching for Zion also expresses the African-American longing for full citizenship.


Click for more detail about The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family by Gail Lumet Buckley The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family

by Gail Lumet Buckley
Atlantic Monthly Press (Feb 02, 2016)
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In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley?daughter of actress Lena Horne?delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights.

Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family’s two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives’ momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history. From Atlanta during Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, and then from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement, this ambitious, brilliant family witnessed and participated in the most crucial events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining personal and national history, The Black Calhouns is a unique and vibrant portrait of six generations during dynamic times of struggle and triumph.


Click for more detail about The Broken King by Michael Thomas The Broken King

by Michael Thomas
Grove Press (Oct 08, 2019)
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Michael Thomas’s extraordinary new book, The Broken King, traces the lives of the men in his family against the backdrop of the last century-and-a-half in American history. From Reconstruction to the Jim Crow South and Civil Rights movement, Thomas explores fathers and sons, lovers and beloved, trauma and recovery, race and deracination, success and failure, soccer and the Red Sox in a beautifully unique memoir.

The title is borrowed from T.S. Eliot’s line in ?Little Gidding”: ?If you came at night like a broken king,” and the work ponders the process of being broken. Reminiscent of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Thomas delivers a series of powerful vignettes reaching back to his grandfather who, though trained as a pharmacist, never found work as one; his father, the president of his class at Boston University, an artist and philosopher who was an unsuccessful businessman and a failed parent; to his brother’s lawlessness; and his own sons’ relatively privileged, safe lives in Brooklyn today. Every page rings with the effects of America’s struggle with race, class, wealth, education, land, and tradition, while offering an intimate look at the creative mind under stress?a brave, meticulous articulation of madness in its guises through generations.


Click for more detail about The Deserter’s Tale: The Story Of An Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away From The War In Iraq by Joshua Key The Deserter’s Tale: The Story Of An Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away From The War In Iraq

by Joshua Key
Grove Press (Jan 17, 2007)
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In the first ever memoir from a young soldier who deserted from the war in Iraq, Joshua Key offers a vivid and damning indictment of what we are doing there and how the war itself is being waged. Key, a young husband and father from a conservative background, enlisted in the Army in 2002 to get training as a welder and lift his family out of poverty. A year later, Key was sent to Ramadi where he found himself participating in a war that was not the campaign against terrorists and evildoers he had expected. He saw Iraqi civilians beaten, shot, and killed for little or no provocation. Nearly ever other night, he participated in raids on homes that found only terrified families and no evidence of terrorist activity.On leave, Key knew he could not return so he took his family underground, finally seeking asylum in Canada. The Deserter’s Tale is the story of a patriotic family man who went to war believing unquestioningly in his government’s commitment to integrity and justice, and how what he saw in Iraq transformed him into someone who could no longer serve his country.


Click for more detail about The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter’s Quest by Aminatta Forna The Devil That Danced on the Water: A Daughter’s Quest

by Aminatta Forna
Grove Press (Dec 18, 2003)
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Praised as ?a shining example of what autobiography can be: harrowing, illuminating and thoughtful” (USA Today), Aminatta Forna’s intensely personal history is a passionate and vivid account of an idyllic childhood which became the stuff of nightmare. As a child she witnessed the upheavals of post-colonial Africa, danger, flight, the bitterness or exile in Britain and the terrible consequences of her dissident father’s stand against tyranny.

Mohamed Forna was a man of unimpeachable integrity and enchanting charisma. As Sierra Leone faced its future as a fledgling democracy, he was a new star in the political firmament, a man who had been one of the first black students to come to Britain after the war. He stole the heart of Aminatta’s mother to the dismay of her Presbyterian parents and returned with her to Sierra Leone. But as Aminatta Forna shows with compelling clarity, the old Africa was torn apart by new ways of western parliamentary democracy, which gave birth only to dictatorships and corruption of hitherto undreamed-of magnitude. It was not long before Mohamed Forna languished in jail as a prisoner of conscience, and worse to follow.

Aminatta’s search for the truth that shaped both her childhood and the nation’s destiny began among the country’s elite and took her into the heart of rebel territory. Determined to break the silence surrounding her father’s fate, she ultimately uncovered a conspiracy that penetrated the highest reaches of government and forced the nation’s politicians and judiciary to confront their guilt. The Devil that Danced on the Water is a book of pain and anger and sorrow, written with tremendous dignity and beautiful precision: a remarkable, and important, story of Africa.


Click for more detail about The End Of The Alphabet: Poems by Claudia Rankine The End Of The Alphabet: Poems

by Claudia Rankine
Grove Press (Sep 14, 1998)
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These poems — intrepid, obsessive, and erotic — tell the story of a woman’s attempt to overcome despair. Claudia Rankine, whose first collection was the prize-winning Nothing in Nature is Private, creates a transfixing testimonial to a woman facing her own disease. Drawing on voices from Jane Eyre to Lady MacBeth, Rankine welds the cerebral and the spiritual, the sensual and the grotesque, courting paradox into the center of her voice.


Click for more detail about The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna The Hired Man

by Aminatta Forna
Grove Press (Oct 14, 2014)
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?Forna is a born storyteller. . . . Not since Remains of the Day has an author so skillfully revealed the way history’s layers are often invisible to all but its participants. . . . Gorgeous.”?John Freeman, The Boston Globe

?Haunting . . . Detail builds upon detail until the dread and violence that have been barely restrained burst into the open.”?Anthony Domestico, San Francisco Chronicle

An NPR, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year, The Hired Man?now available in paperback?is an incisive, powerful novel of a small Croatian town and its dark wartime secrets, unwittingly brought into the light by a family of outsiders. Duro Kolak, a stoic lifelong resident of the Croatian village of Gost, is off on a morning’s hunt when he discovers that a British family has taken up residence in a house Duro knows well. He offers his assistance getting their water working again, and soon he is at the house every day, helping get it ready as their summer cottage, and serving as their trusted confidant. But the other residents of Gost are not as pleased to have the interlopers, and as the friendship deepens, the volatile truths about the town’s past and the house’s former occupants whisper ever louder. A masterpiece of storytelling haunted by lost love and a restrained menace, The Hired Man confirms Aminatta Forna as one of our most important writers.

?Forna modulates the growing suspense with exquisite skill. . . . Beautiful, reminiscent in its mesmerizing clarity of William Trevor’s fiction or Per Petterson’s.”?Anna Mundow, The Christian Science Monitor

?Absorbing . . . Forna’s unwavering gaze compels a close look at the complexities of our shared histories.”?Ellah Allfrey, NPR (online)


Click for more detail about The Kindness of Enemies: A Novel by Leila Aboulela The Kindness of Enemies: A Novel

by Leila Aboulela
Grove Press (Jan 05, 2016)
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?A versatile prose stylist… [Aboulela’s] lyrical style and incisive portrayal of Muslims living in the West received praise from the Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee… [she is] a voice for multiculturalism.”?New York Times

It’s 2010 and Natasha, a half Russian, half Sudanese professor of history, is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the 19th century Muslim leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When shy, single Natasha discovers that her star student, Oz, is not only descended from the warrior but also possesses Shamil’s priceless sword, the Imam’s story comes vividly to life. As Natasha’s relationship with Oz and his alluring actress mother intensifies, Natasha is forced to confront issues she had long tried to avoid?that of her Muslim heritage. When Oz is suddenly arrested at his home one morning, Natasha realizes that everything she values stands in jeopardy.

Told with Aboulela’s inimitable elegance and narrated from the point of view of both Natasha and the historical characters she is researching, The Kindness of Enemies is both an engrossing story of a provocative period in history and an important examination of what it is to be a Muslim in a post 9/11 world.


Click for more detail about The Last Holiday: A Memoir by Gil Scott-Heron The Last Holiday: A Memoir

by Gil Scott-Heron
Grove Press (Jan 10, 2012)
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The stunning memoir of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Holiday has been praised for bringing back to life one of the most important voices of the last fifty years. Now in paperback, The Last Holiday provides a remarkable glimpse into Scott-Heron’s life and times, from his humble beginnings to becoming one of the most influential artists of his generation.

The memoir climaxes with a historic concert tour in which Scott-Heron’s band opened for Stevie Wonder. The Hotter than July tour traveled cross-country from late 1980 through early 1981, drumming up popular support for the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. King’s birthday, January 15, was marked with a massive rally in Washington.

A fitting testament to the achievements of an extraordinary man, The Last Holiday provides a moving portrait of Scott-Heron’s relationship with his mother, personal recollections of Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Clive Davis, and other musical figures, and a compelling narrative vehicle for Scott-Heron’s insights into the music industry, the civil rights movement, governmental hypocrisy, and our wider place in the world. The Last Holiday confirms Scott-Heron as a fearless truth-teller, a powerful artist, and an inspiring observer of his times.


Click for more detail about The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story Of Sally Miller And Her Fight For Freedom in Old New Orleans by John Bailey The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story Of Sally Miller And Her Fight For Freedom in Old New Orleans

by John Bailey
Atlantic Monthly Press (Dec 06, 2004)
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It is a spring morning in New Orleans, 1843. In the Spanish Quarter, on a street lined with flophouses and gambling dens, Madame Carl recognizes the face of a German girl who disappeared twenty-five years earlier. But the olive-skinned woman is a slave, with no memory of a "white" past. And yet her resemblance to her mother is striking, and she bears two telltale birthmarks. Had a defenseless European orphan been illegally enslaved, or was she an imposter? So begins one of the most celebrated and sensational trials of nineteenth-century America. In brilliant novelistic detail, award-winning historian John Bailey uses Miller’s dramatic trial to describe the fascinating laws and customs surrounding slavery, immigration, and racial mixing. Did Miller, as her relatives sought to prove, arrive from Germany under perilous circumstances as an indentured servant or was she, as her master claimed, a slave for life? The trial pits a humble community of German immigrants against a hardened capitalist and one of the most flamboyant lawyers of his time. Bailey follows the case’s incredible twists and turns all the way to the Supreme Court and comes to a shocking conclusion in this investigative history that reads like a suspense novel.

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna The Memory of Love

by Aminatta Forna
Grove Press (Sep 13, 2011)
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Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book
Finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction
An Essence Book Club Pick

In contemporary Sierra Leone, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep. In the capital hospital, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood. Elsewhere in the hospital lies a dying man who was young during the country’s turbulent postcolonial years and has stories to tell that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect in the buzzing city, these men are drawn unwittingly closer by a British psychologist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the center of their stories. A work of breathtaking writing and rare wisdom, The Memory of Love seamlessly weaves together two generations of African life to create a story of loss, absolution, and the indelible effects of the past?and, in the end, the very nature of love.

?[A] luminous tale of passion and betrayal.”?Maaza Mengiste, The New York Times Book Review


Click for more detail about The Nigger Factory by Gil Scott-Heron The Nigger Factory

by Gil Scott-Heron
Grove Press (Dec 25, 2012)
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Originally published in 1972, Gil Scott-Heron’s striking second novel, The Nigger Factory, is a powerful parable of the way in which human beings are conditioned to think, drawing inspiration from Scott-Heron’s own experiences as a student in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.

Earl Thomas, student body president at Sutton University, is in a difficult position: struggling with the fact that even a historically black college could be part of a system that still privileges whites, he’s also threatened by his fellow students, members of radical activist group MJUMBE. Claiming the time has come for revolution, not reform, the leaders of MJUMBE are poised not only to bring Earl down personally, but also to instigate larger scale acts of violence.

An electrifying novel, The Nigger Factory is a penetrating examination of the different forms of resistance and the motivations behind them, and a major document of an era of black thought.


Click for more detail about The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast Paced Business World by Terrie Williams The Personal Touch: What You Really Need to Succeed in Today’s Fast Paced Business World

by Terrie Williams
The Mysterious Press (Feb 01, 1996)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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One of today's leading public relations entrepreneurs shares her unique, personal philosophy for professional success, based on refreshingly down-to-earth principles.

Terrie Williams, the president of one of America's most successful public relations firms, outlines her basis for getting ahead: to do well in business you must do good. In this straightforward, user-friendly guide she tells how she began her powerhouse agency with Eddie Murphy as her first client. Using concrete examples from her own experience, she provides invaluable information and advice on building and maintaining relationships, developing a sterling reputation and'most importantly'giving back to the community a portion of one's personal success.


Click for more detail about The Translator by Leila Aboulela The Translator

by Leila Aboulela
Black Cat (Sep 14, 2006)
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American readers were introduced to the award-winning Sudanese author Leila Aboulela with Minaret, a delicate tale of a privileged young African Muslim woman adjusting to her new life as a maid in London. Now, for the first time in North America, we step back to her extraordinarily assured debut about a widowed Muslim mother living in Aberdeen who falls in love with a Scottish secular academic. Sammar is a Sudanese widow working as an Arabic translator at a Scottish university. Since the sudden death of her husband, her young son has gone to live with family in Khartoum, leaving Sammar alone in cold, gray Aberdeen, grieving and isolated. But when she begins to translate for Rae, a Scottish Islamic scholar, the two develop a deep friendship that awakens in Sammar all the longing for life she has repressed. As Rae and Sammar fall in love, she knows they will have to address his lack of faith in all that Sammar holds sacred. An exquisitely crafted meditation on love, both human and divine, The Translator is ultimately the story of one woman’s courage to stay true to her beliefs, herself, and her newfound love.


Click for more detail about The Vulture by Gil Scott-Heron The Vulture

by Gil Scott-Heron
Grove Press (Jan 01, 2013)
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Now back in print, The Vulture is the first novel by the legendary poet, musician, and so-called ?godfather of rap” Gil Scott-Heron, written while he was still a university student.

First published in 1970 and digging the rhythms of the street, where the biggest deal life has to offer is getting high, The Vulture is a hip and fast-moving thriller, set in lower Manhattan. It relates the strange story of the murder of a teenage boy called John Lee?telling it in the words of four men who knew him when he was just another kid working after school, hanging out, waiting for something to happen. Just who did kill John Lee and why?


Click for more detail about The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon The Wretched of the Earth

by Frantz Fanon
Grove Press (Jan 01, 1961)
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A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon’s masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said’s Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of postindependence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanon’s analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark.


Click for more detail about Two On The River by Wil Haygood and Stan Grossfeld Two On The River

by Wil Haygood and Stan Grossfeld
Atlantic Monthly Press (Nov 01, 1988)
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Book by Haygood, Wil, Grossfeld, Stan


Click for more detail about Yardie by Victor Headley Yardie

by Victor Headley
Atlantic Monthly Press (Sep 01, 1993)
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Yardie is, quite simply, a literary sensation in England. Originally published by X Press, a two-man operation, the book was produced on a desktop computer and distributed through unusual channels: it was sold at clothing shops, hairdressers, and even on top of over-turned dumpsters outside of nightclubs. On word of mouth alone, Yardie has sold over twelve thousand copies.

Victor Headley has written a tight, fast-paced narrative that brings us into the previously unexplored territory of Yardies: West Indian gangsters who know that the only route to success available to them is through the dangerous, violent world of drugs.

Yardie introduces us to D., a tough, streetwise man from Jamaica who, using a falsified passport, enters London to deliver a kilo of cocaine to the Spicers, the ruling operation in cocaine distribution. D., knowing it could be his only chance for a break, steals half a kilo and runs out into a city he is entirely unfamiliar with, having only vague contacts from the life he left behind. D. recruits soldiers, sets up his own operation, and quickly establishes himself as a main force in the drug wars of East End London. Soon he is ensconced in a life of crack, cash, guns, and power, fighting to keep his turf from the Spicers, who are plotting their imminent revenge.

Written with style and intensity, Yardie is the first book to come out of this subculture defined by music, dancing, drugs, violence, and, perhaps most of all, anger. Beneath the action lies the unavoidable fact of economic survival faced by a community struggling to make its way in a hostile urban environment.

Yardie (2018) a motion picture, which marked actor Idris Elba’s directorial debut (see video below).