Black Lives Matter
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Black Lives Matter. It’s so simple a truth that it shouldn’t need to be said out loud, over and over again, but…
*gestures broadly at the nation*
I urge you to listen to Black voices today and every day. Since this is a blog about writing and books, I will give you a list of some of my favorite fiction by Black authors.
1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – NK Jemisin
This is adult epic fantasy at its finest. Jemisin asks the question, “What if gods became enslaved?” and then populated that world with a diverse cast of characters, including the only truly matriarchal society I’ve seen set on the page. She’s also the only author to win a Hugo for every book in a series.
2. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
If you wanted to know what would happen if Dorothy turned evil in her adult years and then someone who isn’t a boring goody-two-shoes gets whisked off to Oz . . . then this is the book for you.
3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
A heartbreaking mother-daughter relationship gives way to a sweep-you-off-your-feet teen romance with complex characters and fascinating, difficult choices.
4. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
I hesitated to add this book to the list, since it’s being recommended all over the place, and it’s likely to be sold out at the link above. I also know a lot of people are rightfully recommending lots of books on the very heavy topics of police brutality, educational discrimination, and the harsh realities of racism in America. I wanted to tell you all about books by Black authors that aren’t necessarily about Being Black in America Right Now.
But Nic Stone’s work is so heartrending and accessible that I don’t think it’s right to skip it. If you can’t handle the heavy right now, put this one on your list for later. The other books on this list are about other topics, and tell stories of Black artists and Black joy.
5. Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
Have you ever wished you could read Shakespeare with a hip-hop sensibility to the prose and that the story featured magic and demigods and a lot of violence? Sure you have. This book is it. This book feels like if Tahereh Mafi and George RR Martin teamed up to tell a gay love story.
6. Kindred by Octavia Butler
Okay, so this is another heavy book. But Octavia Butler is one of the greatest voices in science fiction and she paved the way for countless other authors who came after her. This book is beautiful and horrifying, and the link above will take you to the graphic novel adaptation, illustrated by John Jennings, another Black artist who deserves to get paid for his astounding work.
And every day.