Popular Page Turners by African-American Authors
Compiled and Annotated by Ginny Marshall
Waiting to Exhale meets Church Folk as five female attorneys do brunch each week to trade tales about their love lives, law firms, and the Lord! Tracing the themes of identity, healing, and self-acceptance that won such acclaim for her debut novel, Nicole Bailey-Williams now shares a provocative new storyline for anyone who has faith in the power of self-discovery.
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J. Sutter, a young black journalist, is a “junketeer,” a freeloading hack who roams from one publicity event to the next, abusing his expense account and meeting for biweekly sex with a publicist named Monica.
A novel of extraordinary scope and mythic power that juxtaposes history with popular culture, the blatant bigotry of the past with the more insidious racism of the present, and laugh-out-loud humor with unforgettable poignancy.
LeFlore takes readers behind the velvet rope and inside A-list nightlife. At thirty-five, Destiny Day is at the top of her game. Having escaped her hardscrabble beginnings in the small Midwestern town she calls “East Boogie, Illinois,” she is the savviest sister walking around in a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.
“Shatters our abstract notions about mental illness. . . . [Campbell] is a writer at the top of her form as a storyteller, culture keeper and astute social critic.” —Los Angeles Times
An inspirational novel about two bitterly divided sisters struggling to forgive each other and renew their faith in God.
Everything is not always sweet on Magnolia Lane, where the Ledoux clan had always gathered under the watchful eye of the family matriarch, Hannah. Years later, Hannah’s granddaughter Summer, a soon-to-be bride, has planned a weekend event that prompts a major family reunion. But once relatives come together to celebrate Summer’s wedding, generational secrets that have spanned decades slowly come to the surface.
At an astonishingly young age, Edwidge Danticat has become one of our most celebrated new novelists, a writer who evokes the wonder, terror, and heartache of her native Haiti--and the enduring strength of Haiti's women--with a vibrant imagery and narrative grace that bear witness to her people's suffering and courage.
#1 National Bestseller
“Beautifully written and cleverly plotted. A rich, complex family saga, one deftly woven through a fine legal thriller.” —John Grisham
When the brilliant and controversial black judge, Oliver Garland, is found dead in his study, not everyone believes it was a heart attack. Mystery, secrecy, and misfortune seemed to surround the judge during his life—his daughter was killed in a hit-and-run car accident and his nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected in a scandalous public hearing—and now that’s he’s dead the mysteries only deepen.
Bernita Brown is a quick-thinking, tireless social worker who is good at practically everything—except love. Her first marriage ends in divorce, a painful experience Bernita refuses to think about. Instead, she dives into a series of sad relationships and overwhelming commitments to community and church. But not even church can keep her from being courted by dogs; Bernita’s married pastor begins making passes at her, then blames her for his backsliding.
Alternating between present-day action and a series of flashbacks, Accident of Birth creates an intricate tapestry of suspense, drama, and romance, while also looking at the moral and cultural differences between African Americans and Africans. Neff boldly exposes the rift between American comforts and the traumas of the world we choose to ignore, creating a moving and memorable story of courage and hope that readers will talk about for a long time.
Matilda Housewright hails from a long line of venerable and well-respected African American retainers—her family has been in “service” for generations, serving Washington, D.C., politicos and other upper-crust families. The daughter of the indispensable majordomo Jacob Housewright, Matilda grew up in the house of a powerful D.C. senator and learned how to be a hostess extraordinaire—and has perfected the art of service. But after her father dies and she starts a catering business with her brother, Matilda begins to question who she is and what, exactly, she’s serving.
Barbara Bentley, the grand dame of P.G. County, is tentatively embarking on a fresh approach to life, abandoning the alcohol that served to soften the edges of her marriage to her bimbo-loving millionaire husband, Bradford. She’s been sober for nearly a year, her part-time work as a real estate agent has boosted her self-confidence, and the unexpected attentions of a handsome young colleague have done wonders for her ego.
Property by Valerie Martin
Valerie Martin’s Property
delivers an eerily mesmerizing inquiry into slavery’s venomous effects on the owner and the owned. The year is 1828, the setting a Louisiana sugar plantation where Manon Gaudet, pretty, bitterly intelligent, and monstrously self-absorbed, seethes under the dominion of her boorish husband. In particular his relationship with her slave Sarah, who is both his victim and his mistress.
Exploring the permutations of Manon’s own obsession with Sarah against the backdrop of an impending slave rebellion, Property
unfolds with the speed and menace of heat lightning, casting a startling light from the past upon the assumptions we still make about the powerful.
Relentless, remorseless, and inspirational, this "horrific, hope-filled story" (Newsday) is certain to haunt a generation of readers. Precious Jones, 16 years old and pregnant by her father with her second child, meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption. Precious's voice—stark and crude yet filled with raw intelligence and even humor -demands to be heard and, once heard, will prove unforgettable.