20 Books Published by Penguin Random House on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan Getting to Happy

by Terry McMillan
Signet (Jul 31, 2012)
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From the author of WAITING TO EXHALE…

Best friends Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin have had their share of broken marriages, concessions, and the lessons learned from taking happiness for granted. Now, with each at a crossroads that will define their future, it’s time for these women to get their act together. They’re on their way to healing past hurts and to reclaiming the joy and the dreams they deserve. And they’re doing it with spirit, sass, and hard-earned faith in one another. It’s been fifteen years since they exhaled: now they’re finally learning to breathe.


Click for more detail about Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain Pudd’nhead Wilson

by Mark Twain
Signet (Dec 04, 2007)
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At the beginning of Pudd’nhead Wilson a young slave woman, fearing for her infant’s son’s life, exchanges her light-skinned child with her master’s.††From this rather simple premise Mark Twain fashioned one of his most entertaining, funny, yet biting novels.††On its surface, Pudd’nhead Wilson possesses all the elements of an engrossing nineteenth-century mystery:††reversed identities, a horrible crime, an eccentric detective, a suspenseful courtroom drama, and a surprising, unusual solution.††Yet it is not a mystery novel.††Seething with the undercurrents of antebellum southern culture, the book is a savage indictment in which the real criminal is society, and racial prejudice and slavery are the crimes.††Written in 1894, Pudd’nhead Wilson glistens with characteristic Twain humor, with suspense, and with pointed irony:††a gem among the author’s later works.


Click for more detail about Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan Disappearing Acts

by Terry McMillan
Signet (Apr 01, 2002)
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He was tall, dark as bittersweet chocolate, and impossibly gorgeous, with a woman-melting smile. She was pretty and independent, petite and not too skinny, just his type. Franklin Swift was a sometimes-employed construction worker, and a not-quite-divorced daddy of two. Zora Banks was a teacher, singer, songwriter. They met in a Brooklyn brownstone, and there could be no walking away… In this funny, gritty urban love story, Franklin and Zora join the ranks of fiction’s most compelling couples, as they move from Scrabble to sex, from layoffs to the limits of faith and trust. Disappearing Acts is about the mystery of desire and the burdens of the past. It’s about respect, what it can and can’t survive. And it’s about the safe and secret places that only love can find.


Click for more detail about She’s the One by Sandra Kitt She’s the One

by Sandra Kitt
Signet (Aug 01, 2001)
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Hailed by Eric Jerome Dickey as "a powerful, prolific, and remarkable writer," Sandra Kitt tells the passionate story of a single career woman who finds the love of her life after she becomes the guardian of an orphaned child. A research manager at a TV station, Deanna Lindsay is content with her successful career and her relationship with her friend and lover, Richard. Then she gets the call that changes her life. Stacy Lowell is dead, the victim of an apparent hit and run. Deanna hasn’t seen her old friend in almost seven years - so she’s stunned to discover that the troubled woman appointed her as the guardian of her six-year-old biracial daughter. At first, New York firefighter Patterson Temple doesn’t think Deanna is the right person to provide a home for young Jade - but then Deanna starts to change his mind. Almost against his will, Patterson finds himself drawn to the elegant career woman. But someone from Stacy’s past also wants Jade - someone very dangerous.


Click for more detail about Black Voices by Abraham Chapman, James Baldwin, Arna Bontemps, Gwendolyn Brooks, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Richard Wright, Lerone Bennett, and Malcolm X Black Voices

by Abraham Chapman, James Baldwin, Arna Bontemps, Gwendolyn Brooks, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Richard Wright, Lerone Bennett, and Malcolm X
Signet (Apr 01, 2001)
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“If you don’t know my name, you don’t know your own.”—James Baldwin

Featuring fiction, poetry, autobiography, and literary criticism, Black Voices captures the diverse and powerful words of a literary explosion, the ramifications of which can be seen and heard in the works of today’s African-American artists. A comprehensive and impressive primer, this anthology presents some of the greatest and most enduring work born out of the African-American experience in the United States.

Contributors Include:
Sterling A. Brown
Charles W. Chesnutt
John Henrik Clarke
Countee Cullen
Frederick Douglass
Paul Laurence Dunbar
James Weldon Johnson
Naomi Long Madgett
Paule Marshall
Clarence Major
Claude McKay
Ann Petry
Dudley Randall
J. Saunders Redding
Jean Toomer
Darwin T. Turner


As well as:
Lerone Bennett, Jr.
Frank London Brown
Arthur P. Davis
Frank Marshall Davis
Owen Dodson
Mari Evans
Rudolph Fisher
Dan Georgakas
Robert Hayden
Frank Horne
Blyden Jackson
Lance Jeffers
Fenton Johnson
George E. Kent
Alain Locke
Diane Oliver
Stanley†Sanders
Richard G. Stern
Sterling Stuckey
Melvin B. Tolson


Other Duties as Required: A Theresa Galloway Mystery

by Terris McMahan Grimes
Signet (Sep 01, 2000)
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Click for more detail about Friends and Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey Friends and Lovers

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Signet (Sep 01, 1998)
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In this sexy, soulful tale of love, betrayal, and friendship set in modern-day Los Angeles, the lives of four young African-Americans—two men and two women—are chronicled through the love and the laughter, as well as the heartache and pain of not-so-everyday life. A witty, honest portrait of contemporary mores and humanity in which the gender gap isn’t merely investigated, but celebrated.


Click for more detail about Sister, Sister by Eric Jerome Dickey Sister, Sister

by Eric Jerome Dickey
Signet (Dec 01, 1997)
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Sassy, comical, and true-to-life, Sister, Sister tells the tale of three young African-American women—perky wife Valerie, scheming social worker Inda, and broken-hearted flight attendant Chiquita—and how their lives are coming together, and apart, in Los Angeles. Fresh and in-your-face, this witty novel depicts a world where women sometimes have to alter their dreams, but never have to stop embracing the future.


Click for more detail about Amistad: A Novel Based on the Screenplay by Alexs D. Pate Amistad: A Novel Based on the Screenplay

by Alexs D. Pate
Signet (Dec 01, 1997)
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Based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny on board the Spanish slave ship, Amistad, here is the frightening sequence of events that led fifty-three young men and women - and one young nation - to seek freedom and justice for all people. Amistad is the story of Cinque, the illegally enslaved son of a Mende chief who led an uprising full of fury and courage. It is also the story of John Quincy Adams, the former American president, who reluctantly heeded the call to justice and defended Cinque in a Supreme Court trial that would alter the nation’s history. And it is the story of men and women searching to find truth and to uphold the basic tenets of the American Constitution. Brilliantly narrated by award-winning novelist Alexs Pate, Amistad celebrates the human spirit’s profound determination to fight, hope, and to be free. Visit the "Amistad" book site! A junior novelization is also available for young adults.


Click for more detail about Starlight Passage by Anita Bunkley Starlight Passage

by Anita Bunkley
Signet (May 01, 1997)
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Motivated by a personal desire to reclaim a family legacy that has long been denied, Kiana Sheridan begins investigating her family roots of the Civil War era. As her search grows cold, she enlists the aid of a handsome photojournalist to retrace her ancestors’ route to freedom — leading to a closely guarded mountain village filled with danger and a shocking confrontation that has waited over a century to begin!


Click for more detail about Trouble the Water: 250 Years of African American Poetry by Jerry W. Ward Trouble the Water: 250 Years of African American Poetry

by Jerry W. Ward
Signet (Feb 01, 1997)
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An anthology of African-American poetry represents 250 years of the black experience and includes works by such figures as Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, Rita Dove, and Colleen McElroy.


Click for more detail about Blood Will Tell (A Theresa Galloway Mystery) by Terris McMahan Grimes Blood Will Tell (A Theresa Galloway Mystery)

by Terris McMahan Grimes
Signet (Jan 01, 1997)
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A stranger claiming to be her long-lost brother moves into her mother’s home and soon turns up dead, in the second novel in the series featuring Theresa Galloway, a black woman professional on the edge.


Click for more detail about Sisters by Anita Bunkley, Sandra Kitt, and Eva Rutland Sisters

by Anita Bunkley, Sandra Kitt, and Eva Rutland
Signet (Dec 01, 1996)
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Three novellas by African-American women writers explore the emotional and spiritual connections between sisters, bonds that are tested by the men in their lives and the drive to make it in the world.


Click for more detail about Wild Embers by Anita Bunkley Wild Embers

by Anita Bunkley
Signet (Feb 01, 1996)
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Working at a prestigious private practice after the outbreak of World War II despite racial tensions, African-American nurse Janelle Roy turns to civil rights lawyer Dalton Graham when she is blamed for the death of a patient. Reprint.


Click for more detail about The Color of Love by Sandra Kitt The Color of Love

by Sandra Kitt
Signet (Mar 01, 1995)
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A talented black artist struggling in a loveless relationship, and a white, street-wise cop trying to recover from the traumas of his past struggle to make their passion survive the obstacles they face.


Click for more detail about Black Gold by Anita Bunkley Black Gold

by Anita Bunkley
Signet (Feb 01, 1995)
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In a saga of greed, obsession, passion, and revenge, the fates of a beautiful African-American woman and two African-American families become entwined with the discovery of the legendary Mexia oil field. Reprint.


Click for more detail about Sitting Pretty by Al Young Sitting Pretty

by Al Young
Signet (Jun 07, 1977)
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Covering one year in the life of the narrator, the book opens in a down and out hotel where he lives folks such as Miz Duchess, a tough but lovable Cherokee woman who dines on Alpo; Willie G., who goes from working in the junk yard to fashionable security guard at a modem art museum back to the junk yard; Broadway, a flashy young man who ends up busted for cocaine; and the silent and intuitive Professor. As we follow their exploits we watch the narrator’s fights the often humorous fights battle of the bottle. We see him go to jail for unpaid parking tickets and gets bailed out by his lawyer son; establish contact with his wife after years of neglect only to discover that she has developed cancer and become famous pitching T.V. and radio shows. He chases several women along the way while exposing himself to radical black poetry. The action keeps the book going along at a fast clip, but the value of Sitting Pretty is in the narrator’s "philosophizin." His insights are grounded in the experience of black America, yet they are universal enough to make this a novel of wide appeal


Click for more detail about To Reach a Dream by Nathan C. Heard To Reach a Dream

by Nathan C. Heard
Signet (Jul 03, 1973)
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A new Cadillac every year, fancy rags, flashy hot women, pockets stuffed with big bucks, and the BIG FUN of talking trash, drinking mash, snorting cocaine-that’s what achieving manhood meant on the mean, sordid streets that Bart Enos roamed.

In order to thrive, a man had to have a goal in life-a goal that could only be paved with money.

And there was little Bart wouln’t do to obtain it. With the overwhelming scent of sex lifting from his skin, all he needed was a shot at one rich dame to be set for life. Put a little sugar in her bowl.

Black man making it in a world og gambles, whores, junkies and pimps. "Deep and powerful, vivid and compelling."
-Minneapolis Tribune

"A raw, brutal portrayal


Click for more detail about Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus (Mentor Series) by Carolina Maria de Jesus Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus (Mentor Series)

by Carolina Maria de Jesus
Signet (Sep 01, 1963)
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The powerful firsthand account of life in the streets of S„o Paulo that drew international attention to the plight of the poor.


Includes eight pages of photographs and an afterword by Robert M. Levine
Translated from the Portuguese by David S. Clair


Click for more detail about The Narrows (1960) by Ann Petry The Narrows (1960)

by Ann Petry
Signet (Jan 01, 1960)
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The Narrows is a fictional tale written in 1953 by Ann Petry. The story unfolds as Link, a brilliant young African American man, who is currently working as a bartender for lack of better opportunity — although he is a graduate from Dartmouth College. One night he saves a white woman from an attack, and afterward they drink together. He discovers in their conversation that her name is Carmilo. They become romantically acquainted, in violation of the rigid social codes that barred their relationship with possibly deadly consequences. He does not know however, that she has given him a fake name because she is actually married, wealthy, and only escaped to his side of town to escape the monotony of her secure, white washed life. The story was written at a time when Black Americans were routinely, and violently, terrorized and marginalized with Jim Crow laws and institutionalized racism, especially in the Southern regions of the country. Petry’s torrid and heart breaking novel shed light on the treacherous way that racism and social injustice impedes on the personal and social lives of people. Controversially, the topic of interracial relationships, still a relevant topic in Black social life today, forced readers to face their own inner truths and socialized mentality when it comes to matters of miscegenation at a time when the nation was submerged in racial turmoil. It symbolizes African American literature’s ability to have its unique story told through the lens of a Black character who is living a life that is not different than many African Americans of the time. —Olympia Scott, AALBC