How We Fight For Our Lives
“This memoir by black and gay poet Saeed Jones is a visceral coming of age and coming out story. Growing up as an only child to his single mother in Texas and spending summers with his evangelical grandmother in Memphis, Jones struggles to come to terms with his sexuality, to come out of the closet, and to love himself. He wrestles with his fractured identity, learning what it means to be gay in the black community, to be black in the gay community, and to realize that either one on its own is enough to get you killed in a straight, white world. There are passages that will bruise and choke you, but ultimately both Jones and the reader come out of the book all the better for it.”Rachel, The Book Table
A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington... Read more »
No Ashes in the Fire
Coming of Age Black and Free in America
From a leading journalist and activist comes a brave, beautifully wrought memoir.
When Darnell Moore was fourteen, three boys from his neighborhood tried to set him on fire. They cornered him while he was walking home from school, harassed him because they thought he was gay, and poured a jug of gasoline on him. He escaped, but just barely. It... Read more »
Essays and Speeches
Crossing Press Feminist: Book #1
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action... Read more »
All Boys Aren't Blue
This program is read by the author.
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first...
“I feel that Dennis-Benn is unparalleled in writing the insidious unforgivables. The mother who can't find love for her daughter, the more-than-friend who takes everything you give them and never gives back, the daughter told to be a "good girl" who finds difficulty doing either of those things for the woman who ends up raising her. Like her debut, this novel is filled with characters tormented by the compromises they made but whose character Dennis-Benn refuses to compromise. The painfully recognizable humanity of everyone in Patsy asks us all to reach inside for the empathy we're capable of for people we wouldn't normally think to give it to.”Alice, Water Street Bookstore
Build Yourself a Boat
This is about what grows through the wreckage. This is an anthem of survival and a look at what might come after. A view of what floats and what, ultimately, sustains.
Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.Read more »
“This is such a phenomenal book by a writer who should be on everyone’s radar for 2019. Washington has a detailed and poignant style that reveals the tender soul within all of his characters. None of the characters that we meet in Lot are strangers — they are our mothers, brothers, lovers, and friends. Washington pulls them all together through interlocking stories, taking us in between the cracks and revealing how these characters feel and what drives them (and what doesn’t). This series of stories, told with no agenda, explores sexual awakening and identification, gentrification and its victims, and the power of family to both save us and fail us.”Allie Bangerter, hello hello books
Don't Call Us Dead
Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry
Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection
Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don't Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place... Read more »
Girl, Woman, Other
“The twelve Black British women who are the central characters in Bernardine Evaristo's GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER are so vastly different that when their connections are slowly revealed, like a spider web you didn't see until the light hits it just so, you'll settle in and become entranced. I loved this deep dive into a part of British culture that isn't often depicted. The form is unusual but once you give yourself over to it, you'll see why it works. I particularly loved the last part of the book which reminded me of enjoying a long leisurely meal and still leaving room for the perfect dessert. The ending was terribly satisfying. Highly recommend.”Rachel, Avid Bookshop
Here for It
Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.
“Pop culture–obsessed, Sedaris-level... Read more »
Wow, No Thank You.
A new rip-roaring essay collection from the smart, edgy, hilarious, unabashedly raunchy, and bestselling Samantha Irby.
Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and... Read more »
Felix Ever After
A Stonewall Honor Book * A Time Magazine Best YA Book of All Time
From Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.
Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He...Read more »
An Unkindness of Ghosts
“Aster is a misfit. A monster. And a frequent target for humiliation and punishment by the guards stationed on Matilda. Rivers Soloman’s debut novel, An Unkindness of Ghosts, is a fantastic allegorical analysis of the antebellum south via life aboard a spaceship, searching for a new place to live after Earth became uninhabitable. The narrator did a wonderful job bringing the story to life and all of the voices fit the characters perfectly. Trigger Warnings: suicide, self harm, sexual assault, racism, homophobia ”Ryan, Page 1 Books
Jericho Brown's daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes... Read more »
Red at the Bone
“Although you can read Jacqueline Woodson’s newest novel over the course of one evening, there is nothing breezy about the richness of its story, nothing short about the depth of its characters, nothing quick about the way this book stays with you after you finish reading. Told through five distinct voices, Red at the Bone tracks an African-American family through time and place as an unexpected pregnancy upends and reshapes family and class expectations as well as individual trajectories. Ultimately, the novel is about legacy in every sense of the word. And since Woodson’s writing packs the emotional punch of an epic in a novella number of pages, the legacy of her book is to be read over and over and over again.”Kelly Brown, Magic City Books
The Black Flamingo
“This beautiful novel in verse has a tender, loving lens on the toxic directions we're sometimes forced to grow in before we are able to come into our own. In that way, it reminds me of Moonlight. The epilogue is beautiful and stands on its own—I want to print it out and pin it up in every middle and high school.”Miriasha, Phoenix Books
An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of... Read more »
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.
Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out... Read more »
Looking for Lorraine
The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry
Winner of the 2019 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction
Winner of the Shilts-Grahn Triangle Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
Winner of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018
A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet... Read more »