Black Voices & Culture: Fiction Books for Adults

Explore our curated list of fiction books by Black and African American voices in celebration of Black History Month.

Updated January 10, 2024
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Chain-gang all-stars
Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame
A NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOK OF THE YEAR * FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION * A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK * NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Two top women gladiators fight for their freedom within a depraved private prison system not so far-removed from...
Everything Is Not Enough
Akerstrom, Lola Akinmade.
From Lola Akinmade Åkerström, international bestselling author of In Every Mirror She's Black, comes the highly anticipated second novel, focusing on the lives of three Black women as they fight their own personal struggles in one of the most egalitarian societies, Sweden. Can a...
Black girls must have it all : a novel
Allen, Jayne
In this final installment in the acclaimed Black Girls Must Die Exhausted trilogy, Tabitha is juggling work, relationships, and a newborn baby--but will she find the happy ending she's always wanted? After a whirlwind year, Tabitha Walker's carefully organized plan to achieve the life she...
Go tell it on the mountain
Baldwin, James
In one of the greatest American classics, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity--told "with vivid imagery, with lavish attention to details ... [a] feverish story" (The New York Times). Baldwin's rendering of his...
The art of scandal
Black, Regina
A "wildly steamy, utterly heartwarming" debut filled with romance, artistic ambitions, political scandal, and finding love where you least expect it (Tia Williams).  Publishers Weekly Best Romance Book of 2023 · Chicago Public Library...
Where I'm coming from : selected strips 1991-2005
Brandon-Croft, Barbara
A seasoned cartoonist of epic proportions, Brandon-Croft carves out space for Black women's perspectives in her nationally syndicated strip Few Black cartoonists have entered national syndication, and before Barbara Brandon-Croft, none of them were women. From 1989 to 2005, she...
House of cotton
Brashears, Monica
NPR BEST BOOK OF 2023 * An enchanting Black Southern gothic debut, perfect for readers of Mexican Gothic... "Fresh, haunting...In her roller-coaster ride of a gothic debut novel, Monica Brashears upends expectations at every turn." --The New York Times ...
You never know : a novel of domestic suspense
Briscoe, Connie
"The thing I love about Connie Briscoe now is the same thing I've always loved about Connie Briscoe--she writes highly commercial, pacey, character-driven stories. She was made for domestic suspense." --Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author The revered New York Times...
The new naturals : a novel
Bump, Gabriel
**A 2023 NEW YORK TIMES and WASHINGTON POST Notable Book and a BOSTON GLOBE Best Book of the Year** From the Ernest J. Gaines Award-winning author of Everywhere You Don't Belong, a touching, timely novel--called "smart...
The five sorrowful mysteries of Andy Africa : a novel
Buoro, Stephen
The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Finalist Longlisted for the 2024 Aspen Words Literary Prize Named a Best of the Year Book by NPR Crackling with energy and intelligence, this debut is the "smart, subversive, funny, heartbreaking" (Kamila...
An autobiography of skin
Carr, Lakiesha
A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR * This magisterial, intimate look at Black womanhood "follows three women whose various traumas haunt them literally and metaphorically, as it explores what it means to be a Black woman in America today" (The New York Times Book Review,...
The survivalists : a novel
Cauley, Kashana
In the wake of her parents' death, Aretha, a habitually single Black lawyer, has had only one obsession in life - success - until she falls for Aaron, a coffee entrepreneur. Moving into his Brooklyn brownstone to live along with his Hurricane Sandy - traumatized, illegal-gun-stockpiling, optimized...
Juneteenth : a novel
Ellison, Ralph
"Ellison sought no less than to create a Book of Blackness, a literary composition of the tradition at its most sublime and fundamental." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr., TIME From the renowned author of the classic novel Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison's Juneteenth...
Invisible man
Ellison, Ralph.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * NATIONAL BESTSELLER * In this deeply compelling novel and epic milestone of American literature, a nameless narrator tells his story from the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be. One of The Atlantic<...
Maame
George, Jessica
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! * A Today Show #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick * A February 2023 Indie Next Pick "Sparkling." --The New York Times "An utterly charming and deeply moving portrait of the joys<...
Life and other love songs
Gray, Anissa
"Musical in structure--the octaves rise when the music calls for it; truths are revealed by the invisible beats of this gorgeous, rich story" -Ann Napolitano, New York Times bestselling author of Hello Beautiful (Oprah's Book Club Pick) "Riveting, rhythmic, transcendent...
The love songs of W.E.B. Du Bois : a novel
Jeffers, Honorée Fanonne
An instant New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today Bestseller * AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB SELECTION * ONE OF THE ATLANTIC'S "GREAT AMERICAN NOVELS" * BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2021 * WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR FICTION A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: New York...
The house of Eve : a novel
Johnson, Sadeqa
"Amazing...I was completely surprised by the ending of this beautifully told and written book." --Reese Witherspoon "A triumph of historical fiction" (The Washington Post), an instant New York Times bestseller, and a Reese's Book Club pick, set in 1950s...
The known world
Jones, Edward P.
From National Book Award-nominated author Edward P. Jones comes a debut novel of stunning emotional depth and unequaled literary power Henry Townsend, a farmer, boot maker, and former slave, through the surprising twists and unforeseen turns of life in antebellum Virginia, becomes...
Butter : novellas, stories, and fragments
Jones, Gayl
A wide-ranging collection, including two novellas and ten stories exploring complex identities, from the acclaimed author of Corregidora, The Healing, and Palmares "Gayl Jones's work represents a watershed in American literature. From a literary standpoint...
Flipping boxcars : a novel
Kyles, Cedric
The first novel from one of the original Kings of Comedy, Cedric "The Entertainer," an engaging and entertaining crime caper that is a valentine to close-knit black families and tightly woven communities struggling to get by during the Depression and World War II. Babe is a charismatic and...
Pomegranate : a novel
Lee, Helen Elaine
"A remarkable feat of literary conjuration." --Jennifer Haigh, nationally bestselling author of Mercy Street The acclaimed author of The Serpent's Gift returns with this gripping and powerful novel of healing, redemption, and love,...
Trinity : a novel
Lockhart, Zelda
The Hurston-Wright Award Finalist makes her long-awaited return with this electrifying saga--as moving and indelible as The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, The Turner House, and The Love Songs of W. E. B. DuBois--that explores three generations of a family trying to overcome trials and trauma and free...
Lush lives : a novel
Lyon, J. Vanessa
With beguiling wit and undeniable passion, Lush Lives is a deliciously queer and sexy novel about bold, brilliant women unafraid to take risks and fight for what they love An unabashedly charged love story set in the evocative and high-stakes world of art and auction in New York...
Zora books her happy ever after
McCoy, Taj
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Entertainment Weekly · EBONY magazine · PopSugar · Paste Magazine · BuzzFeed · BiblioLifestyle · Culturess  "Taj McCoy offers readers a yummy love triangle with her latest...
Our Gen : a novel
McKinney-Whetstone, Diane
"Our Gen is warm and smart, accessible yet meaningful, a beach read with strong writing and emotional heft."--BookPage Residents of an active-living retirement community revert to lives of youthful indulgence, even as time-bomb secrets of their pasts tick toward explosion.  The...
One blood
Millner, Denene
A People Magazine Pick. "In delicious, decadent prose, Denene Millner does what few authors can-compose a sprawling multigenerational tale that is necessary American reading. One Blood sings the song of the South in a voice that is heartbreaking, hopeful, and...
Beloved : a novel
Morrison, Toni.
Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is haunted persistently by the ghost of the dead baby girl whom she sacrificed.
Every man a king
Mosley, Walter
In this highly anticipated sequel from Edgar Award-winning "master of craft and narrative," Walter Mosley, Joe King Oliver is entangled in a dangerous case when he's asked to investigate whether a white nationalist is being unjustly set up (National Book Foundation). When...
Notes on her color : a novel
Neal, Jennifer
Finalist for the Vulgar Geniuses Award Florida kitsch swirls together with magical realism in this glittering debut novel about a young Black and Indigenous woman who learns to change the color of her skin Gabrielle has always had a complicated relationship with her...
Small worlds
Nelson, Caleb Azumah
An exhilarating and expansive new novel about fathers and sons, faith and friendship from National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and Costa First Novel Award winning author Caleb Azumah Nelson One of the most acclaimed...
Rebecca, not Becky : a novel
Platt, Christine A.
In the vein of Such a Fun Age, a whip-smart, compulsively readable novel about two upper-class stay-at-home mothers--one white, one Black--living in a "perfect" suburb that explores motherhood, friendship, and the true meaning of sisterhood amidst the backdrop of America's all-too-familiar racial...
Queen of exiles : a novel
Riley, Vanessa
"You may not know Marie-Louise Christophe but once you have met her, you won't forget her. Vanessa Riley's historical novel feels timely and relevant, commemorating a time when Black women were queens." --Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author Acclaimed historical...
Women of the post
Sanders, Joshunda
  "What a beautifully imagined and important narrative. Sanders' clear-eyed and powerful writing made this a hard one to stop reading!" --Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-Winning Author "This is a novel to cherish and share. And this is a...
Burning season
Swinson, Kiki
Set your schemes A volunteer Virginia Beach firefighter, Alayna Curry faces death every day - and is proud to carry on her retired father's legacy. But with cash always tight and her long-time boyfriend Levi pressuring her to give up what she loves to make more money, she knows she needs more cash...
The color purple
Walker, Alice
Read the original inspiration for the new, boldly reimagined film from producers Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, starring Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, and Fantasia Barrino. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary, The Color Purple writes a message of healing,...
We are a haunting : a novel
White, Tyriek
WINNER - 2023 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" Honoree Longlisted for the Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize A Best Book of 2023 - NPR, Electric Literature, Largehearted Boy, Black Girl Nerds, Le Noir Auteur...
Crook manifesto : a novel
Whitehead, Colson
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of Harlem Shuffle continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory. A Best Book of the Year: The New...
Gone like yesterday : a novel
Williams, Janelle M.
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK A lyrical debut novel that asks what we owe to our families, what we owe to our ancestors, and what we owe to ourselves. Janelle M. Williams's Gone Like Yesterday employs magical realism to explore the majestic and haunting experience of...

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