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Classics Written by Diverse Authors

Classics Written by Diverse Authors

Rich in history and timeless storytelling, classics speak to interconnected human experiences that have stood the test of time and are still meaningful today.
This collection comes from Bibliophile: Diverse Spines by Jane Mount and Jamise Harper. Read the full excerpt here!

Playlist Tags: topic: classics topic: classic topic: bipoc topic: diversity

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Their Eyes Were Watching God

By Zora Neale Hurston
Narrated by: Ruby Dee
Length: 6 hours 44 minutes

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love...

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The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho
Narrated by: Jeremy Irons
Length: 4 hours

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a...

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Native Son

By Richard Wright
Narrated by: Peter Francis James
Length: 17 hours 45 minutes

“If one had to identify the single most influential shaping force in modern Black literary history, one would probably have to point to Wright and the publication of Native Son.” – Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and...

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

By Maya Angelou
Narrated by: Maya Angelou
Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute... Read more »

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Invisible Man

By Ralph Ellison
Narrated by: Joe Morton
Length: 18 hours 38 minutes

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Ralph Elllison's Invisible Man is a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of modern American Negro life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching--yet always with... Read more »

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The Street

By Ann Petry
Narrated by: Danielle Deadwyler
Length: 13 hours 25 minutes

With a new introduction from New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones, The Street was Ann Petry's first novel, originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork.
The Street tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence,...

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Winter in the Blood

Penguin Vitae

By James Welch
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis & Tanis Parenteau
Length: 4 hours 58 minutes

A contemporary classic from a major writer of the Native American renaissance — "Brilliant, brutal and, in my opinion, Welch's best work." —Tommy Orange, The Washington Post

During his life, James Welch came to be regarded as a master of American prose, and his first novel, Winter in the Blood, is one of his most enduring works. The narrator of... Read more »

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The House on Mango Street

By Sandra Cisneros
Narrated by: Sandra Cisneros
Length: 2 hours 17 minutes

In hardcover for the first time--on the tenth anniversary of its initial publication--the greatly admired and bestselling book about a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, this novel depicts a new American landscape through its multiple characters. Read more »

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Beloved

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 12 hours 2 minutes

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unflinchingly look into the abyss of slavery, from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner. This spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.

Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is ... Read more »

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Collected Fictions - Abridged

By Jorge Luis Borges
Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 5 hours 13 minutes

Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century. A selection of Borges' dazzling fictions are gathered in this audiobook, brilliantly translated by Andrew Hurley. These enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and... Read more »

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Bless Me, Ultima

By Rudolfo Anaya
Narrated by: Robert Ramirez
Length: 11 hours 12 minutes

Exquisite prose and wondrous storytelling have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English. Indeed, Anaya's tales fairly shimmer with the haunting beauty and richness of his culture. The winner of the Pen Center West Award for Fiction for his unforgettable novel Alburquerque, Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic... Read more »

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Kindred

By Octavia E. Butler
Narrated by: Kim Staunton
Length: 10 hours 54 minutes

The first science fiction written by a Black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of Black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably... Read more »

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Ceremony

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By Leslie Marmon Silko
Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
Length: 9 hours 8 minutes

Leslie Marmon Silko's sublime Ceremony is almost universally considered one of the finest novels ever written by an American Indian. It is the poetic, dreamlike tale of Tayo, a mixed-blood Laguna Pueblo and veteran of World War II. Tormented by shell shock and haunted by memories of his cousin who died in the war, Tayo struggles on his... Read more »

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Passing

By Nella Larsen
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 4 hours 5 minutes

First published in 1929, Passing is a remarkable exploration of the shifting racial and sexual boundaries in America. Larsen, a premier writer of the Harlem Renaissance, captures the rewards and dangers faced by two negro women who pass for white in a deeply segregated world. Read more »

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The Count of Monte Cristo

By Alexandre Dumas
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 46 hours 56 minutes

Dashing young Edmond Dantes has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Edmond is locked away for life in the infamous prison at the French Chateau d’If. But...

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Annie John

By Jamaica Kincaid
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 4 hours 19 minutes

Jamaica Kincaid presents a haunting and provocative story of a young girl growing up on the island of Antigua.

An adored only child, Annie has until recently lived an idyllic life. She is inseparable from her beautiful mother, a powerful presence at the very center of the little girl’s existence. Loved and cherished, Annie grows and thrives...

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The Women of Brewster Place - Abridged

By Gloria Naylor
Narrated by: Tonya Pinkins
Length: 3 hours 7 minutes

The National Book Award-winning novel—and contemporary classic—that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor, now with a foreword by Tayari Jones

“[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life . . . Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off... Read more »

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Go Tell It on the Mountain

By James Baldwin
Narrated by: Adam Lazarre-White
Length: 8 hours 44 minutes

James Baldwin’s stunning first novel is now an American classic. With startling realism that brings Harlem and the black experience vividly to life, this is a work that touches the heart with emotion while it stimulates the mind with its narrative style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism in America.

Moving through time from the rural...

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

By Frederick Douglass
Narrated by: Christopher Preece
Length: 3 hours 50 minutes

An eye-opening real-life account of slavery in America.

Artfully crafted with the same gripping and powerful prose that Frederick Douglass was so famous in his time for, this deeply moving memoir explores the harrowing reality behind slavery in America. Offering an illuminating insight into American society and culture in the 19th-century,...

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The Souls of Black Folk

By W. E. B. Du Bois
Narrated by: Royal Jaye
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes

“Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, — all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, — who is good? not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.”

The Souls of Black Folk was published in 1903 as a collection of essays from W.E.B. Du Bois, an African-American sociologist... Read more »

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