African-American Interest Books – Free & Bargain Priced!

When The Color Purple won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983, its author Alice Walker became the first woman of color to win the prize. She also went on to win the National Book Award for Fiction in the same year. Mel Watkins of the New York Times Book Review described the novel as a “striking and consummately well-written novel,” praising its powerful emotional impact and epistolary structure.

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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What is African-American Literature?

African-American literature is the body of literature produced in the United States by writers of African descent. It begins with the works of such late 18th-century writers as Phillis Wheatley. Before the high point of slave narratives, African-American literature was dominated by autobiographical spiritual narratives. The genre known as slave narratives in the 19th century were accounts by people who had generally escaped from slavery, about their journeys to freedom and ways they claimed their lives. The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was a great period of flowering in literature and the arts, influenced both by writers who came North in the Great Migration and those who were immigrants from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands. African-American writers have been recognized by the highest awards, including the Nobel Prize given to Toni Morrison in 1993. Among the themes and issues explored in this literature are the role of African Americans within the larger American society, African-American culture, racism, slavery, and social equality. African-American writing has tended to incorporate oral forms, such as spirituals, sermons, gospel music, blues, or rap.

Source: Wikipedia > African-American literature

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.

African American Interest Books - The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award African American Interest Book – The Color Purple by Alice Walker

African American interest books - Deliverance Mary Fields by Miantae Metcalf McConnell

Highly reviewed African American interest books – Deliverance Mary Fields by Miantae Metcalf McConnell

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Heart of Stone

Emery Stone has a secret. If all goes as planned after she leaves her cheating ex-boyfriend, she can make sure no one ever finds out. Determined to keep love at bay, she’s resigned herself to a life of no strings attached, but just as she settles on her new loveless...

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Discovering Lita

Lita Payne is a thirty-something beautiful, successful and engaging urban professional in the beautiful city of Chicago. On the surface, Lita truly appears to have it all. Her husband is a handsome Senior Executive for a construction company making well over six...

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Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

“I couldn’t put Dear Haiti, Love Alaine down!” —New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory“An enchanting and engrossing novel full of wit and laughter.” —Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory“Remarkable, funny, and whip-smart.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of...

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The World According to Fannie Davis

As seen on the Today Show: This true story of an unforgettable mother, her devoted daughter, and their life in the Detroit numbers of the 1960s and 1970s highlights "the outstanding humanity of black America" (James McBride).In 1958, the very same year that an unknown...

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Hints of Spice

When Cin Bradley packs up and moves herself, her mother, and her baby girl away from their home in Connecticut, she has no plans to make a love connection. She’s just trying to get settled into her new house, new job, and new life – until Landry Augustin comes to her...

read more

Heart of Stone

Emery Stone has a secret. If all goes as planned after she leaves her cheating ex-boyfriend, she can make sure no one ever finds out. Determined to keep love at bay, she’s resigned herself to a life of no strings attached, but just as she settles on her new loveless...

read more

Two Girls One Thug

A young woman drowns to death in a lake. Her fiancé, an inmate with an illegal cellphone, hears the whole tragedy from his prison bunkbed. But no one wants to believe his side of the story. Her death is ruled an accident.One year later Irving Mercee is released from...

read more

Don’t Call Me Crazy!

She believes she’s found the man of her dreams. But what if her mind is playing tricks? Anika Muhammad struggles to trust men. But after meeting a handsome playa in her business course, she unexpectedly falls head over heels. Yet she can’t forgive his once-wandering...

read more

Small Great Things

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.SOON TO BE A MAJOR...

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Girl, Woman, Other

NATIONAL BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp,...

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“In a Single Garment of Destiny”

An unprecedented and timely collection that captures the global vision of Martin Luther King Jr.—in his own words   Too many people continue to think of Dr. King only as “a southern civil rights leader” or “an American Gandhi,” thus ignoring his impact on poor and...

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Mama Day

A “wonderful novel” steeped in the folklore of the South from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women of Brewster Place (The Washington Post Book World). On an island off the coast of Georgia, there’s a place where superstition is more potent than any...

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On Top Of The World

Winner of the Pacific Book Award for BEST FICTION. "Highly ENTERTAINING! Incredibly FUN! HILARIOUS!" ROMANTIC TIMESBelle has it all, a powerful entertainment lawyer at the top of her game. So beautiful she causes traffic accidents from men sneaking peeks at her...

read more

Over the Fence

In this page-turning novel set in the Depression-era South, New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe transports readers to a small Alabama town where home is not always a sanctuary, and two neighboring families let pleasantries mask increasing resentment. ....

read more

Freedom Summer

A riveting account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history. In his critically acclaimed history Freedom Summer, award- winning author Bruce Watson presents powerful testimony about a crucial episode in the American civil rights movement. During the...

read more

Oreo

A pioneering, dazzling satire about a biracial black girl from Philadelphia searching for her Jewish father in New York CityOreo is raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad...

read more

As Good as True

A powerful and haunting novel of a woman’s broken past and the painful choices she must make to keep her family and her home.After a night of rage and terror, Anna Nassad wakes to find her abusive husband dead and instinctively hides her bruises and her relief. As the...

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Counternarratives

Now in paperback, a bewitching collection of stories and novellas that are “suspenseful, thought-provoking, mystical, and haunting” (Publishers Weekly)Ranging from the seventeenth century to the present, and crossing multiple continents, Counternarratives draws upon...

read more

Molly’s Memoir

“Mr. Minion pushed open the door of the cabin and immediately froze when he heard the shrilling sound of an infant crying. He knew, for sure, that when he’d left out this morning there weren’t any babies living with him, and as far as he could recollect, he wasn’t...

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Native Son

“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...

read more

Hints of Spice

When Cin Bradley packs up and moves herself, her mother, and her baby girl away from their home in Connecticut, she has no plans to make a love connection. She’s just trying to get settled into her new house, new job, and new life – until Landry Augustin comes to her...

read more

As Good as True

A powerful and haunting novel of a woman’s broken past and the painful choices she must make to keep her family and her home.After a night of rage and terror, Anna Nassad wakes to find her abusive husband dead and instinctively hides her bruises and her relief. As the...

read more

The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours

ill Scott's first-ever poetry collection delivers the same earthy, personal, and tell-it-like-it-is voice that fans have grown to know and love. Writing poems and keeping journals since 1991, she shares her personal poetry collection in The Moments, The Minutes, The...

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Be One with Me

SallyTo the outside world, this city girl has it all: her own business, an upscale condo, plenty of money in the bank. After losing her mother to cancer, she’s lonely and longing for a family. A deathbed confession and a violent attack cause her to run from the only...

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The Kid

Fifteen years after the publication of Push, one year after the Academy Award-winning film adaptation, Sapphire gives voice to Precious's son, Abdul. In The Kid bestselling author Sapphire tells the electrifying story of Abdul Jones, the son of Push's unforgettable...

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The Book of Delights

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER As Heard on NPR's This American Life “Ross Gay’s eye lands upon wonder at every turn, bolstering my belief in the countless small miracles that surround us.” —Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate The winner of the...

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The Coldest Winter Ever

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.Renowned hip-hop artist, writer, and activist Sister Souljah brings the streets of New York to life in a powerful and utterly unforgettable first novel. I came busting into the world...

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Mycroft Holmes

A new novel written by NBA All-Star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!Fresh out of Cambridge University, the young Mycroft Holmes is already making a name for himself in government, working for the Secretary of State for War. Yet this most British of civil servants has strong ties...

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The Unspoken

In this new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ian K. Smith, an ex-cop turned private investigator seeks justice on the vibrant, dangerous streets of Chicago.Former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. After refusing to participate...

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Gather at the Table

Two people—a black woman and a white man—confront the legacy of slavery and racism head-on  “We embarked on this journey because we believe America must overcome the racial barriers that divide us, the barriers that drive us to strike out at one another out of...

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Halsey Street

Finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Fiction.A modern-day story of family, loss, and renewal, Halsey Street captures the deeply human need to belong—not only to a place but to one another.Penelope Grand has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved...

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Sidelined: The Contract

Bryn Charles is planning her biggest event yet after signing a love contract with her boyfriend, NFL superstar Shane Smith. Their fiery love affair only intensifies as Shane finally gives her what she wants — his heart. But when Shane's ex throws a Hail Mary pass it...

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Conjure Women

A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and for the conjuring of curses—are at the heart of this dazzling first novel  LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • NPR • Parade...

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Night in Shanghai

This novel of an American musician caught up in the dangers of 1930s China is “historical fiction at its best” (Alan Cheuse, NPR’s All Things Considered). In 1936, classical pianist Thomas Greene is recruited to Shanghai to lead a jazz orchestra of fellow African...

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Red at the Bone

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR"A spectacular novel that only this legend can pull off." -Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of  HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, in The Atlantic"An exquisite tale of family legacy….The...

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African-American Interest Books…

Heart of Stone

Emery Stone has a secret. If all goes as planned after she leaves her cheating ex-boyfriend, she can make sure no one ever finds out. Determined to keep love at bay, she’s resigned herself to a life of no strings attached, but just as she settles on her new loveless...

read more

Discovering Lita

Lita Payne is a thirty-something beautiful, successful and engaging urban professional in the beautiful city of Chicago. On the surface, Lita truly appears to have it all. Her husband is a handsome Senior Executive for a construction company making well over six...

read more

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

“I couldn’t put Dear Haiti, Love Alaine down!” —New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory“An enchanting and engrossing novel full of wit and laughter.” —Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory“Remarkable, funny, and whip-smart.” —Ibi Zoboi, author of...

read more

Hints of Spice

When Cin Bradley packs up and moves herself, her mother, and her baby girl away from their home in Connecticut, she has no plans to make a love connection. She’s just trying to get settled into her new house, new job, and new life – until Landry Augustin comes to her...

read more

Heart of Stone

Emery Stone has a secret. If all goes as planned after she leaves her cheating ex-boyfriend, she can make sure no one ever finds out. Determined to keep love at bay, she’s resigned herself to a life of no strings attached, but just as she settles on her new loveless...

read more

Two Girls One Thug

A young woman drowns to death in a lake. Her fiancé, an inmate with an illegal cellphone, hears the whole tragedy from his prison bunkbed. But no one wants to believe his side of the story. Her death is ruled an accident.One year later Irving Mercee is released from...

read more

Don’t Call Me Crazy!

She believes she’s found the man of her dreams. But what if her mind is playing tricks? Anika Muhammad struggles to trust men. But after meeting a handsome playa in her business course, she unexpectedly falls head over heels. Yet she can’t forgive his once-wandering...

read more

Small Great Things

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race, Small Great Things is the stunning new page-turner from Jodi Picoult.SOON TO BE A MAJOR...

read more

Girl, Woman, Other

NATIONAL BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp,...

read more

Mama Day

A “wonderful novel” steeped in the folklore of the South from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Women of Brewster Place (The Washington Post Book World). On an island off the coast of Georgia, there’s a place where superstition is more potent than any...

read more

On Top Of The World

Winner of the Pacific Book Award for BEST FICTION. "Highly ENTERTAINING! Incredibly FUN! HILARIOUS!" ROMANTIC TIMESBelle has it all, a powerful entertainment lawyer at the top of her game. So beautiful she causes traffic accidents from men sneaking peeks at her...

read more

Over the Fence

In this page-turning novel set in the Depression-era South, New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe transports readers to a small Alabama town where home is not always a sanctuary, and two neighboring families let pleasantries mask increasing resentment. ....

read more

Freedom Summer

A riveting account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history. In his critically acclaimed history Freedom Summer, award- winning author Bruce Watson presents powerful testimony about a crucial episode in the American civil rights movement. During the...

read more

Oreo

A pioneering, dazzling satire about a biracial black girl from Philadelphia searching for her Jewish father in New York CityOreo is raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad...

read more

As Good as True

A powerful and haunting novel of a woman’s broken past and the painful choices she must make to keep her family and her home.After a night of rage and terror, Anna Nassad wakes to find her abusive husband dead and instinctively hides her bruises and her relief. As the...

read more

Counternarratives

Now in paperback, a bewitching collection of stories and novellas that are “suspenseful, thought-provoking, mystical, and haunting” (Publishers Weekly)Ranging from the seventeenth century to the present, and crossing multiple continents, Counternarratives draws upon...

read more

Molly’s Memoir

“Mr. Minion pushed open the door of the cabin and immediately froze when he heard the shrilling sound of an infant crying. He knew, for sure, that when he’d left out this morning there weren’t any babies living with him, and as far as he could recollect, he wasn’t...

read more

Native Son

“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...

read more

Hints of Spice

When Cin Bradley packs up and moves herself, her mother, and her baby girl away from their home in Connecticut, she has no plans to make a love connection. She’s just trying to get settled into her new house, new job, and new life – until Landry Augustin comes to her...

read more

As Good as True

A powerful and haunting novel of a woman’s broken past and the painful choices she must make to keep her family and her home.After a night of rage and terror, Anna Nassad wakes to find her abusive husband dead and instinctively hides her bruises and her relief. As the...

read more