Celebrating black voices in literature – adult fiction

If the last few weeks have taught us anything it is that we should be lifting black voices, authors, artists, etc every day of the year, not just when there’s a protest or when it is Black History Month. With that in mind we searched through our online catalogue to find the best in black literature and over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting different genres from non-fiction to Young Adult.

This week we’ve chosen four adult contemporary fiction books. We have a long way to go before black voices are as elevated as they should be in the literary world but if we continue to fight for diverse voices at every level then we can hopefully see more black authors nominated and winning the big literary prizes.

All these eBooks are available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is a Kensington and Chelsea library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry, just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources.

My sister the serial killerMy Sister, the Serial Killer

A darkly comedic debut novel that asks just how far you’re willing to go to protect the ones you love. This book is fun and delightfully terrible in his subject matter.

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first.

Such a fun ageSuch a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age is a novel that blends the pleasure of pure storytelling with the ability to make you stop and think about your own actions. Through her witty prose, Kiley Reid tells the story of everyday racism through the eyes of Emira whose white employers is trying to “save her” from a situation she would rather move on from.

When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s the babysitter of, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer Alix, a feminist blogger with a ‘personal brand’ and the best of intentions, resolves to make things right.

Girl woman otherGirl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Joint winner of the Man Booker Prize 2019, Bernadine Evaristo is the first black woman to win this prize. Girl, Woman, Other is a celebration of black womanhood in Britain written in both prose and poetry that shows off the talent of Evaristo. We recommend checking out her other works as well.

This book is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class.

An american marriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage is a story about how incarceration hurts more than just the person locked up. It’s also a reminder of how draconian our criminal justice system can be—especially for black men.

Newlyweds, Celestial and Roy, are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive and she is artist on the brink of an exciting career. They are settling into the routine of their life together, when they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit.

This list is only a small selection of the books we have available in our online collection. If you want to read more about black history, antiracism, or you want to find out what other black authors we have then head over to the Cloud Library to find more.



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