Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2000: Fiction
Booklists for Adults

*Recommended for Teens

ABIDE WITH ME by E. Lynn Harris. Raymond, Nicole, Trent and John, and Basil Henderson are all back in the conclusion to the Invisible Life series.

*AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS IF I DO by Valerie Wilson Wesley. "Suddenly playing by the old rules doesn’t make much sense to a not-quite-so-young sister" whose husband abandons her.

AMONG OTHERS by Lois Griffith. After her father is shot by two racist policemen, teenager Della Morgan becomes an activist in the Black Panthers.

ANY KNOWN BLOOD by Lawrence Hill. Langston Cane V finds new meaning in life when he discovers that Langston I was a runaway slave who fought with John Brown at Harper’s Ferry.

AT THE FULL AND CHANGE OF THE MOON by Dionne Brand. The descendants of the sole survivor of a mass slave suicide in Trinidad struggle through two world wars and the turmoil of the late 20th century.

*BUXTON SPICE by Oonya Kempadoo. Traces Lula's passionate coming-of-age in Guyana during the racial turmoil of the 1970s.

CHEATERS by Eric Jerome Dickey. Darnell sticks to his marriage vows…until he meets a woman who understands his dreams.

CLIFFORD’S BLUES by John A. Williams. A gay jazz musician interned in WWII Germany becomes servant and lover to a Nazi official and his wife.

CLOSE TO THE BONE by Jake Lamar. Using the backdrop of O.J. Simpson's trial, three men grapple with the societal problems of race, identity and justice.

*THE COLDEST WINTER EVER by Sister Souljah. Life changes for the pampered family of a rich and powerful drug dealer once he is arrested and the money stops flowing.

DARK OF THE MOON by P.J. Parrish. Louis Kincaid returns to his racially divided Mississippi town and investigates a decades-old lynching.

DISS/ED BANDED NATION by David Nandi Odhiambo. Benedict Ochieng, lead singer of a Canadian jazz band, fights to survive in the face of deportation, discrimination and hard times.

*EVERYBODY SMOKES IN HELL by John Ridley. After Paris steals a cache of money and drugs, he races his Gremlin to Vegas to escape the wrath of the rightful owners.

FARAWAY BLUE by Max Evans. The Ninth Cavalry, led by former slave Sergeant Moses Williams, engages in a long and bloody campaign against Apache chief, Nana.

*FEEDING THE GHOSTS by Fred D’Aguilar. After being thrown overboard with 131 sick slaves, Mintah climbs back on the ship and becomes the voice of hope and resistance.

*GEOGRAPHIES OF HOME by Loida Maritza Perez. A Dominican mother and her adult daughters struggle with feelings of alienation and cultural dislocation in New York City.

THE HARRIS MEN by R.M. Johnson. Traces a family of men torn apart by an absentee father, and his attempts to reunite with his sons upon learning he is terminally ill.

HART'S WAR by John Katzenbach. Tuskegee airman Lincoln Scott is accused of murder in a German POW camp.

HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE by Rita Ewing and Crystal McCrary. The New York Flyers are in the NBA playoffs . . .the wives and girlfriends feel the pressure.

*I LEFT MY BACK DOOR OPEN by April Sinclair. Finding love at forty ain’t easy, as DJ Daphne Dupree finds out first hand.

*IMANI ALL MINE by Connie Porter. Life in Buffalo's inner city, where teenagers too often end up having babies and where guns kill the innocent.

INCOMPARABLE WORLD by S.I. Martin. Three runaway slaves, who fought for the British during the American Revolution, find themselves outcasts on the harsh streets of London.

THE INTUITIONIST by Colson Whitehead. In this parody, an elevator plunges several stories. Did psychic inspector Lily Mae make an error in judgment?

JUNETEENTH by Ralph Ellison. Adam Sunraider, a race-baiting senator, has been shot by an assassin’s bullet when he sends for Alonzo Hickman, the black minister who raised him.

A LONG WAY FROM HOME by Connie Briscoe. A fictionalized account of the author’s real life ancestry as a descendant of a slave on the James Madison plantation.

THE MARVELOUS ADVENTURES OF PIERRE BAPTISTE: Father and Mother First And Last by Patricia Eakins. A former slave attempts to cross the Atlantic in a rum cask only to be befriended and impregnated by a mermaid.

THE MITT MAN by Mel Taylor. In 1920’s New Orleans, Hustler King Fish meets the perfect pupil for his lessons in the art of the con games.

*THE MOANER’S BENCH by Mars Hill. A coming of age story in Depression-era Arkansas, when the joys of simple pleasures are counteracted by Jim Crow laws.

MOSQUITO by Gayl Jones. When a Mexican illegal alien hides in her rig, Sojourner Nadine Jane Johnson becomes involved in the "new Underground Railroad".

*MOTHER OF PEARL by Melinda Haynes. In 1950’s Mississippi, the town misfits form a makeshift interracial family based on love and acceptance.

THE OXFORD BOOK OF CARIBBEAN SHORT STORIES edited by Stewart Brown and John Wickham. Includes V.S. Naipaul, Edwidge Danticat and authors from the French, Spanish and Dutch-speaking Caribbean.

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS by Octavia E. Butler. In the 23rd century, the quiet commune Acorn’s existence is threatened by ultraconservative American president, Reverend Andrew Steele Jarret. A continuation of The Parable of the Sower.

PAUL MARCHAND, F.M.C. by Charles W. Chesnutt. In antebellum New Orleans, a free man of color discovers he is white, and must decide whether or not to renounce his mulatto wife and children to claim his inheritance.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE by RenÈe Swindle. "I always get what I want," says brazen Babysister. And she wants her best friend’s man.

*PSI/NET by Billy Dee Williams and Rob MacGregor. Trent Calloway has only a couple of days to figure out who’s planning to bomb Washington, D.C.

READ BETWEEN THE LIES by Lori Bryant Woolridge. Past secrets threaten to jeopardize the careers of three young black women in the Big Apple.

RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW by Trey Ellis. After overdosing on expired cough syrup, TV guru Ashton Robinson creates a religion based on bungee jumping, tantric sex and The Gap.

*RIVER, CROSS MY HEART by Breena Clarke. In Washington, D.C., when a daughter drowns, family and racial tensions erupt.

SHEER NECESSITY by Sharon Mitchell. Toni tries to do it all -- raise a daughter, solve the family's problems, go to college and run her own hair salon.

*SOMETHING’S WRONG WITH YOUR SCALE! by Van Whitfield. Sonny Walker joins a spa to lose weight and save his relationship, only to find love with a large woman.

SPEAK RWANDA by Julian R. Pierce. From soldier to nurse to young orphan, ten characters tell their stories of the conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis.

STANDING AT THE SCRATCH LINE by Guy Johnson. Early Twentieth Century epic about King Tremain, urban warrior and avenger of racial injustice. Written by Maya Angelou's son.

SUPREME JUSTICE: A Novel of Suspense by Gary Hardwick. When conservative Supreme Court Justice Farrel Douglas is assassinated, radical activist Daishaya Mbutu is quickly charged with the crime.

*SWEET ST. LOUIS by Omar Tyree. Would you fall for the line "I’ll trade a piece of me for a piece of you"? Sharron does!

*A THIRST FOR RAIN by Roslyn Carrington. During the tension of an extended dry season in Trinidad, Myra, pregnant by her philandering boyfriend, cares for her rebellious teenage daughter and her father, the town madman.

THOSE BONES ARE NOT MY CHILD by Toni Cade Bambara. Marzala Rawls Spencer and her estranged husband frantically search for their missing 12 year old son. The Atlanta child murders have just begun.

*THE TRUE HISTORY OF PARADISE by Margaret Cezair-Thompson. As Jean Landing makes the dangerous drive to escape the violence that is plaguing Jamaica, she recalls her past and the stories of her ancestors.

TRUMPET by Jackie Kay. Celebrated jazz trumpeter, Joss Moody lived as a man, husband and father, but was actually a woman. With "his" death all is revealed.

UNTIL . . . by Timmothy B. McCann. Love comes unexpectedly to Betty via an Internet chat room.

WAITING IN VAIN by Colin Channer. With a backdrop of London, New York and Jamaica, Sylvia, a beautiful magazine editor, and "Fire", a Jamaican poet and artist, become involved in a passionate romance.

WALKIN' THE DOG by Walter Mosley. An ex-con struggles to become part of everyday life in Watts. The second Socrates Fortlow novel.

WATER MARKED by Helen Elaine Lee. Two estranged sisters reunite to unearth the truth about their father's death.

*WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE by Camika Spencer. Greg proposes to Adrian before he realizes that "she has more skeletons in her closet than a haunted house."

*WINDWARD HEIGHTS by Maryse Conde. Steamy and sordid love between Rayze and Cathy in 19th century Guadeloupe. Patterned after Wuthering Heights.

*WINTER NIGHTS by Francis Ray, Shirley Hailstock and Donna Hill. Christmas and Kwanzaa romance in three novellas.

This selected list was compiled by:  Kendall Brothers, General Library, Teen Services, Marylou Coveney, Dudley Branch, Joseph Fisher, Dudley Branch, Jacqueline Hogan, Grove Hall Branch, Janice Knight, Mattapan Branch, Amy Manson, Chairperson, Connolly Branch, Margaret Phillibert, General Library, Adult Services, Amy Short, West Roxbury Branch,   Georgia Titonis, South End Branch