Wherever you are in the world, I’m certain you cannot have missed the protests that are happening to challenge racial injustice, police brutality and white supremacy. As part of Blackout Tuesday, I chose to use my social media channels to boost some books by black authors. Some you may have already read, others you might not have come across yet but so many people asked me to centralize them all in one place, so I’m posting them here.
Rather than link to specific retailers, I’ve linked to the author’s personal website so you can buy directly from them and hopefully, they’ll benefit from an affiliate link of some kind.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams has been a huge breakout hit and described as ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah, disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.’
A personal favourite author of mine is Dorothy Koomson. Read The Ice Cream Girls now before the sequel, All My Lies Are True, comes out this summer
Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson is out now and it is a SWOONFEST. She has an absolute ton of wonderful romance novels just waiting to melt your heart and honestly, give you the horn, and you can find out about them all here.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett is out now and deserves every ounce of the praise that is being HEAPED upon it and more A fierce, powerful book that had me racing through the pages, it’s one of my favourite reads of the year so far.
I’m almost certain you’ve heard of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, but if you haven’t read it yet, now’s the time. A great option for your teens as well and I loved the movie adaptation if you’re looking for something to watch with your family tonight.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo has been recommended to me by SO many people. The Sunday Times says it’s ‘A big, bold, sexy book that cracks open a world that needs to be known…’ Don’t you want that in your life? I KNOW I DO.
Have you read Malorie Blackman? No? Then exit this page immediately and go read her entire backlist. Noughts and Crosses is a good place to start and has sadly never been more relevant. Her work is exceptional and necessary.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is a super readable, nuanced and engrossing book that encourages you to open your eyes to your privilege. It made me ask myself some difficult questions and I am so grateful. FWIW we read this in the I Heart Book Club and a few readers DM’d me to they didn’t ‘get it’ which really opened my eyes to the battle black writers face. It’s a brilliantly written book with a compelling story and I hope those readers are re-examining their takes right now.
As you may or may not know, it‘s far more difficult for writers of colour to find an agent, a book deal, a publishing job or to even make time to write, because, by and large, non-white people earn less in the same jobs as their white contemporaries. There are thousands of books, tens of thousands of books, if not more, by black authors most of us will likely never see or read. Most of the books I’ve recommended today are already successful and come from major publishers – if you have a debut book by a writer of colour or a book you love from a smaller publisher or press, please let me know. I aim to actively seek out more diverse voices and keep sharing them with you.