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New Fiction by Black Authors

This list of fiction by Black authors includes books that were published within the last year, as well as a few upcoming releases. Titles are roughly organized from youngest to oldest.

Playlist Tags: Wild Rumpus Books genre: Fiction & Literature fiction black authors

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A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

By Roseanne A. Brown
Narrated by Jordan Cobb & A.J. Beckles /  12 hours 3 minutes

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

“Escape into a time of heroes with Achilles' heels, women in armor, villains who might not be, murderous gardens, feisty gods, and little girls with terrible power. Enter, and gasp in awe at the rich, ancient culture, like no other in fiction, at the ricochet speed of shattering trust, the twisting of allegiances and the fracturing facets of an origin myth about to explode through the crowded streets during a raucous national festival. Two teens have explicit reasons to find and kill each other, one hobbled by ignorance, the other by illness, both with motives of love and desperation, each on opposite sides of a fracturing empire. Who is the griot putting each on such an unlikely path to meet? Or is there a more disturbing reason these two are drawn to each other? Highly recommended for teens and adults!”

The Haunted Bookshop image Nialle, The Haunted Bookshop
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$31.04 USD

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Raybearer

The Raybearer Series: Book #1
By Jordan Ifueko
Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt /  13 hours 48 minutes

Raybearer

“Immerse yourself in a rich fantasy world with wishes to cheat death, struggles for power, and hopes to find love. Jordan Ifueko has given us the start of a series where peace may not be as it seems and who you are vs. who the world tells you to be can have life-threatening and history-shaping consequences. One of my favorite aspects is the chants, prayers, and songs that are essential to the story and the narrator rhythmically enriches the reading.”

Once Upon A Time image Jessica, Once Upon A Time
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$20.99 USD

Retail price (USD): $22.95

Discount: 9%

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Saving Ruby King

A Novel
By Catherine Adel West
Narrated by Kim Staunton, Imani Parks, Ron Butler, Adam Lazarre-White, Lloyd Roberson II & Terra Strong Lyons /  10 hours 14 minutes

Saving Ruby King

“Saving Ruby King is a slow burn—a richly woven three-generation history of two families on the south side of Chicago, bound forever by trauma and religion. A tragic murder in the present unearths secret wrongdoings of the past. Intergenerational trauma is a primary focus, and the given circumstances allow readers to both hate and empathize with nearly all of the main characters. The full cast—including the omniscient church building—narrates the audiobook beautifully. Readers will learn that the bonds of true friendship can withstand anything. Trigger warnings: domestic violence, incest, rape.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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$31.04 USD

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The Vanishing Half

A Novel
By Brit Bennett
Narrated by Shayna Small /  11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“This is an intriguing story, part family saga, part social commentary, about twin sisters whose lives diverged into two very different directions. Desiree and Stella grew up in Mallard, Louisiana, a place that didn't show up on any map and a community that in the 1960s was racist in a peculiar way: the population was almost exclusively very light-skinned African Americans, many of whom could pass for white. Fourteen years before the story begins, Desiree and Stella suddenly left home together to find work in New Orleans. Shortly afterwards, Stella disappeared without a trace. Desiree married, had a child, and in 1968 decided to return to Mallard to her mother's house to escape an abusive husband. Skipping ahead ten years to 1978, we meet Stella, who has also married and had a child, and now lives in California in an exclusively white upscale neighborhood where not even her husband knows about her African American blood. In a coincidence that the author makes seem believable, the twins' daughters meet, and Stella's secret is in danger of being exposed. Bennett's characters are well-developed and provide a clearly-drawn portrait of race, gender, and the ties that hold families and relationships together.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Alice, Blue Willow Bookshop
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$31.50 USD

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Lakewood

A Novel
By Megan Giddings
Narrated by Adenrele Ojo /  8 hours 33 minutes

Lakewood

“Lena just lost her grandmother, her mother has health problems and to top of off they are having financial problems. Lena takes a mysterious job in hopes help her mother and to pay off bills. Lakewood takes you into a dark world of medical testing where human rights are disregarded. This whole story felt more than real and makes you question how far you would go for to help your family.”

Birdy's Bookstore image Alexandra, Birdy's Bookstore
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$27.59 USD

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The City We Became

A Novel
The Great Cities Trilogy: Book #1
By N. K. Jemisin
Narrated by Robin Miles /  16 hours 12 minutes

The City We Became

“What did I just listen to and why did I like it so much? Part of falling in love with this book was the listening experience, to be certain. The narration was stellar. The production was on point. But the story... the story itself is sublime. N.K. Jemisin has written a love letter to New York City - but not the one in bright, bold letters on the silver screen - the real city, and the real people who inhabit it and call it home, even if only temporarily. And it was beyond my wildest dreams (and nightmares). The City We Became is so incredibly layered and nuanced - diving into discussions of racism and sexism and the fallacy of good vs evil. I wanted nothing more than to steep in its long chapters, and get to know its boroughs as intimately as Jemisin would allow - not mere stereotypes but fully fleshed and brilliant, blinding avatars. Witty, subversive, imaginative, unbelievable. Get on this wild ride.”

Second Star to the Right image Britt, Second Star to the Right
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$29.88 USD

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Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid
Narrated by Nicole Lewis /  9 hours 58 minutes

Such a Fun Age

“When I attempted to write a review for Such a Fun Age, I was at a loss for words. How could I encapsulate how Kiley Reid’s startling debut perfectly captured what it means to be a woman? The societal pressure, the self-doubt, the perseverance, the constant comparison — all of it was perfectly represented through Reid’s two wonderfully flawed and captivating leads. Follow Emira and Alix, two women on seemingly incongruous paths who find themselves searching for purpose and an authentic sense of self. Such a Fun Age tackles complex issues — race, gender, economic status, and the intersection of them all — yet remains accessible. You will not want to put this book down; when you do, you’ll be itching to pick it back up again.”

Flyleaf Books image Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Little Family

A Novel
By Ishmael Beah
Narrated by Dion Graham /  7 hours 54 minutes

Little Family

“In beautiful prose, Ishmael Beah gives us the story of five children living on their own in an unnamed postcolonial African nation. They have formed a little family with code phrases, special whistles, and other safety measures for their life of petty theft while living in an abandoned airplane. The most compelling storyline in LITTLE FAMILY is that of Khoudiemata, the young teenager who is starting to understand her strength and power. As Khoudi starts to make friends outside of her little family, she begins to see that what has seemed permanent won't last.”

Avid Bookshop image Rachel, Avid Bookshop
Price:

$28.00 USD

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Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick

Stories from the Harlem Renaissance
By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by Aunjanue Ellis /  8 hours 57 minutes

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick

“Zora Neale Hurston’s (Their Eyes Were Watching God, Barracoon) body of work continues to grow and impress. In Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick, 21 short stories, including several “lost” pieces depicting the Great Migration to northern cities and Harlem’s educated New Negro middle class, offer an updated perspective of Hurston’s Harlem Renaissance-era cultural commentary. These stories, written in the 1920s and 30s, explore toxic masculinity and women’s agency, urban vs. rural class representations, colorism/shadeism, identity politics, and the intersectionality of race, class, age, and gender in a way that remains relevant today. And, by using humor, folklore, and her unique combination of delicate prose and vernacular speech, Hurston also has written thoroughly engaging slices-of-life, always centering Black characters, from a very specific time period. To fully appreciate Hurston’s stories, Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) recommends in her foreword, “reading this work aloud, enjoying the feel of the words in your mouth, and the sound of English tightened and strummed like the strings of a banjo.””

River Dog Book Co. image BrocheAroe, River Dog Book Co.
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$31.04 USD

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These Ghosts are Family

A Novel
By Maisy Card
Narrated by Karl O’Brian Williams /  9 hours 55 minutes

Longlisted for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

A “rich, ambitious debut novel” (The New York Times Book Review) that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

*An Entertainment Weekly, Millions, and LitHub Most Anticipated Book of 2020 Pick and... Read more »

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$22.99 USD

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We Ride Upon Sticks

A Novel
By Quan Barry
Narrated by Isabel Keating /  14 hours 44 minutes

We Ride Upon Sticks

“This is such a fun romp! It has everything you could possibly want in a book: field hockey, witches, and ’80s bangs that have literally taken on a life of their own. Set in Salem in the 1980s, we follow a group of high school field hockey players as they struggle with their new dark powers and attempt to end their losing streak. One of the strangest, most satisfying books I have read in a long time!”

Hillary Smith image Hillary Smith, Copperfield's Books Calistoga
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$31.50 USD

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The Freedom Artist

By Ben Okri
Narrated by Ben Okri /  6 hours 51 minutes

In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Amalantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Amalantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization that to find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her... Read more »

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$22.99 USD

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The Gone Dead

A Novel
By Chanelle Benz
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  8 hours 6 minutes

The Gone Dead

“Billie James travels to the Mississippi Delta from Philly for the first time since her father’s mysterious death, some 30 years before. Although she was there that night, she has no recollection of the events that occurred, but learns later that she went missing afterwards. This new detail causes her to start digging into what really happened, which gets her into trouble with people who want the past to remain buried. An emotional and tense novel about racism, justice, family, and the truth, Benz’s debut has so much edge to it that I could not stop reading!”

Fountain Bookstore image Carl Kranz, Fountain Bookstore
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$27.59 USD

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The Death of Vivek Oji

A Novel
By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by Chukwudi Iwuji & Yetide Badaki /  7 hours 38 minutes

The Death of Vivek Oji

“I am staggered by the immersive, fluid, irresistible prose Emezi has perfected in their third novel, The Death of Vivek Oji. This tale follows the captivating, curious Vivek through the aftermath of his mysterious death, while simultaneously examining the people and relationships closest to him. Vivek, his cousin Osita, and a distant third-person narrator lead the reader through a grounded, lively picture of Nigeria, family and friendship bonds stretched to their breaking points, and the passing of this unique, complex young boy. Through addictive, multifaceted characters and a simply beautiful story, Emezi inspects masculinity, otherness, and love. This is one of the most magical, compelling, exciting, thought-provoking, and important books of our time.”

Loganberry Books image Margy Adams, Loganberry Books
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$24.50 USD

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Ordinary Hazards

A Novel
By Anna Bruno
Narrated by Amanda Dolan /  9 hours 5 minutes

Named a Best Debut Novel of 2020 by Library Journal

“Seen through keen eyes and full of deep feeling, Ordinary Hazards delves into the psyche of a woman grappling with grief, loss, and the burdens of inheritance. Anna Bruno vividly renders the messiness of a single human life in all its joy and heartbreak.” —Claire Lombardo, New York Times... Read more »

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$22.99 USD

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Transcendent Kingdom

A novel
By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by Bahni Turpin /  8 hours 40 minutes

Transcendent Kingdom

“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough, and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning novel Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”

Wellesley Books image Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books
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$28.00 USD

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