African-American Interest Books – Free & Bargain Priced!
Beginning in the 1970s, African American interest books reached the mainstream as literature by Black writers continually achieved best-selling and award-winning status – this was also the period when the work of African-American writers became recognised as a distinct and legitimate genre of American literature.
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The period of the 1970s saw many African-American books on bestseller lists. One of the first to do so was Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. A fictionalized account of Haley’s family history which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and became a popular tv miniseries.
Other important writers include Gayl Jones, Rasheed Clark, Ishmael Reed, Jamaica Kincaid, Randall Kenan, and John Edgar Wideman. Poet Maya Angelou read a poem at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, Rita Dove won a Pulitzer Prize and served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1993 to 1995, and Cyrus Cassells’s Soul Make a Path through Shouting was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Natasha Trethewey won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry with her book Native Guard. In 2004 Edward P. Jones won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his book The Known World.
Young African-American novelists include David Anthony Durham, Karen E. Quinones Miller, Tayari Jones, Kalisha Buckhanon, Mat Johnson, ZZ Packer and Colson Whitehead, among many others.
An African-American pioneer in genre fiction is Chester Himes, who in the 1950s and ’60s wrote a series of pulp fiction detective novels featuring “Coffin” Ed Johnson and “Gravedigger” Jones, two New York City police detectives. Himes paved the way for the later crime novels of Walter Mosley and Hugh Holton. African Americans are also represented in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror, with Samuel R. Delany, Octavia E. Butler, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Robert Fleming, Brandon Massey, Charles R. Saunders, John Ridley, John M. Faucette, Sheree Thomas and Nalo Hopkinson just at the beginning of a very long list.