Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2003: Fiction
Booklists for Adults

*Recommended for Teens

All the Trouble You Need
by Jervey Tervalon.
A college instructor nearing 30 falls in love with one of his students, to the consternation of the other women in his life.

The Autograph Man
by Zadie Smith.
A British-Jewish-Chinese man, a collector of autographs, pursues his obsession with obtaining the signature of a reclusive screen star.

Bittersweet
by Freddie Lee Johnson III.
The lives and relationships of three complex brothers are chronicled.

Black Coffee
by Tracy Price-Thompson.
A romantic liaison between two officer candidates, one unhappily married, creates a steamy and dangerous situation.

Blowback
by Eric James Fullilove.
Framed and on the run for the murder of his white girlfriend, National Security Advisor Richard Whelan is the only one who can prevent a nuclear detonation.

*Bombingham
by Anthony Grooms.
While serving in Vietnam, Walter Lee Burke experiences flashbacks of the violence surrounding the Civil Rights movement in 1960s Birmingham.

The Bondwoman's Narrative
by Hannah Crafts, edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Written in 1850 by a fugitive slave, this fictionalized biography tells of Hannah Crafts' escape from slavery and her life in freedom.

*Break Any Woman Down: Stories
by Dana Johnson.
Young women search for inner peace through intimate relationships.

*The Buffalo Soldier
by Christopher A. Bohjalian.
Ten-year-old Alfred, an African American child with white foster parents, adjusts to life in Vermont through the kindly attention of a neighbor.

A Chocolate Affair
by Sheila Copeland.
The temptations of life abound for four young stars in this tale of infidelity, lost loves and sisterhood.

Colored Sugar Water
by Venise T. Berry.
A boring boyfriend and an immature husband lead longtime friends Lucy and Adel to seek spiritual advice in the voodoo world of tarot cards and albino pythons.

Discretion
by Elizabeth Nunez.
Oufoula Sindede loves his wife and his mistress. Torn between passion and responsibility, he must make a difficult choice.

Emotions
by Timmothy B. McCann.
Married sitcom actress Joi has an affair with a younger "hunk." She is forced to examine her choices when her life rivals a soap opera.

The Emperor of Ocean Park
by Stephen L. Carter.
When the "Emperor," Judge Oliver Garland, dies, he leaves behind a chess problem which must be solved in order to reveal the puzzle of his death.

Erasure
by Percival Everett.
Intellectual writer, Thelonius "Monk" Ellison faces uncomfortable consequences when he succumbs to family pressures and writes a sensational book.

*Every Bitter Thing Sweet
by Roslyn Carrington.
Odile, who gave up her dream of becoming a doctor when she got pregnant at 17 and who now works in a bordello, meets up with Rory whom she hasn't seen for four years.

*The Fall of Rome
by Martha Southgate.
The token black teacher at a New England prep school comes to terms with his own insecurities when he clashes with a promising African American scholarship student.

*Free: And other stories
by Anika Nailah.
This collection concerns the skills required to survive the injustices of racism.

Futureland: Nine Stories of an Imminent World
by Walter Mosley.
Pulse is a drug that offers escape, technology rules, and the gap between the rich and the poor is a chasm. America in 2020?

Getting Our Breath Back
by Shawne Johnson.
Violet, Lilly, and Rose--sisters in emotional turmoil--searching for a Daddy they never knew, each taking a different path.

Gigantic
by Marc Nesbitt.
Contemporary African-American men navigate the obstacle course of life through depression, self-destruction, and addiction.

The God Who Begat a Jackal
by Nega Mezlekia.
Once upon a time in Ethiopia, there were feudal lords, serfs, rebel slaves, and damsels in distress.

Gonna Lay Down My Burdens
by Mary Monroe.
Burdened with the guilt of having caused her fiancé's paralysis, will Carmen accept the fate of a loveless marriage or succumb to the dubious charms of Chester Sheffield?

Guys in Suits
by Van Whitfield.
Stuart and Simon are D.C. singles looking for Ms. Right in this romantic comedy told from the male perspective.

Harlem Redux
by Persia Walker.
In 1920s Harlem, a young lawyer investigates the suspicious suicide of his reclusive sister who had recently married a man she barely knew.

The Harris Family
by R. M. Johnson.
In this sequel to The Harris Men, Julius seeks forgiveness for being an absentee father to his three sons.

The Heat Seekers
by Zane.
Best friends the steady Tempest and the wilder Vanessa meet and pair off with their male counterparts. Is a happy ending possible?

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow
by Francis Ray.
Will television talk show host Madison West agree to raise the nine-month-old her husband, on his deathbed, confessed to having fathered?

Interesting Women
by Andrea Lee.
These stories tell of high-bred, well-educated American women living and traveling abroad, exploring diverse cultures and customs.

Joy
by Victoria Christopher Murray.
Anya has it all, a lucrative business, a devoted fiancé, and a strong relationship with the Lord. Then she is brutally raped and beaten.
Christian fiction.

*Leaving
by Richard Dry.
Widowed and pregnant, 21-year-old Ruby moves with her13-year-old stepbrother from South Carolina to Oakland at the beginning of the turbulent 1960s.

*Leaving Atlanta
by Tayari Jones.
Tasha, Rodney and Octavia, three fifth-graders, struggle to grow up amidst the 1980's Atlanta child murders.

Leslie
by Omar Tyree.
Murder and mayhem result when a New Orleans coed gets involved with voodoo.

Like Boogie on Tuesday
by Linda Dominique Grosvenor.
The story of two couples whose secrets unravel their lives.

*Lion's Blood
by Steven Barnes.
In this fantasy "alternate" history, Europeans are enslaved by Africans.

Love Don't Live Here Anymore
by Denene Millner and Nick Chiles.
Two hot careers on two continents lead to infidelity, deception, and a broken marriage.

A Love of My Own
by E. Lynn Harris.
Raymond meets Zola when both are working for Bling Bling Magazine. Love is in the air until John, Raymond's old friend and lover, appears on the scene.

Love the One You're With
by James Earl Hardy.
Raheim "Pooquie" Rivers goes to Hollywood to make a film leaving Mitchell "Little Bit" Crawford wondering if he can stay true, especially when temptation is everywhere.

Married Men
by Carl Weber.
Four young men, friends since boyhood, learn that no matter how unstable their family lives become, they can always count on one another.

May December Souls
by Marissa Monteilh.
Forty-year-old Mariah finds a healthy and supportive lover and friend in twenty-one-year-old Malik.

*Meant to Be
by Rita Coburn Whack.
Jan Campbell's life journey is guided by a voice from the beyond, that of her Cherokee grandmother Hannah, who died before she was born.

Mr. Potter
by Jamaica Kincaid.
He never knew love so never gave love. One of his illegitimate daughters discovers how to break this cycle of lovelessness.

Never Again Once More
by Mary B. Morrison.
In this sequel to Soulmates Dissipate, Jada questions her choice of marrying for security rather than love.

No Compromise
by Rochelle Alers.
A mysterious client threatens the life of social services director Jolene Walker and forces her new love Michael to risk all to protect her.

No Regrets
by Patricia Haley.
Karen and Johnny Clark took vows and became husband and wife. Can prayers and faith help keep that promise when cancer and infidelity strike? Christian fiction.

P.G. County
by Connie Briscoe.
Adultery, alcohol, and biracial relations: life in affluent suburbia.

The Portable Promised Land
by Touré.
The imaginary metropolis of Soul City is the setting for these sharply humorous short stories and essays by a contributing editor at Rolling Stone Magazine.

The Prodigal Husband
by Jacquelin Thomas.
Tori and Jake struggle to put their marriage back together following his extramarital affair and his disappearance for a year after the tragic death of their only child. Christian fiction.

Promises beyond Jordan
by Vanessa Davis Griggs.
Two weeks before the wedding Theresa's fiancé feels he must lend support to his first love who has been seriously injured in a car accident. Christian fiction.

The Queen of Harlem
by Brian Keith Jackson.
Mason becomes Malik, "a ghettonian" and moves to Harlem. His odyssey takes a U-turn turn when he meets Kyra, who lives in the world he left behind.

*Red on a Rose
by Patricia Jones.
Lila's near perfect life crumbles when her husband, confronted by racism, makes a deadly choice.

Revenge Is Best Served Cold
by Tracie Howard and Danita Carter.
After silver-tongued Blake St. James becomes a business partner and then betrays them, Morgan and Dakota plot to settle the score.

*Rhythms
by Donna Hill.
Tragedy and family secrets follow three generations of talented women when they leave the safety of their rural Mississippi home to seek fame in the big city.

*Riding through Shadows
by Sharon Ewell Foster.
A spiritual counselor steps in when Shirley's father is killed and her mother slides into depression. Christian fiction.

*River Woman
by Donna Hemans.
When Kelithe's small son drowns, the women of her Jamaican village wonder if it happened so she could finally go to America.

Roadrunner
by Trisha R. Thomas.
After responding to a domestic violence call, a police officer develops an obsession for the wife of a drug-addicted professional athlete.

Salthill
by Judith Barnes.
In 1950s Canada, a friendship is threatened when a black horse wrangler falls in love with his boss' daughter.

Satisfy My Soul
by Colin Channer.
When playwright Carey McCullough meets Frances Carey, they believe their intense love affair is fulfilling destiny as the reincarnation of 500-year-old African lovers.

Sittin' in the Front Pew
by Parry "Ebony Satin" Brown.
Edward Naylor was known as a perfect father, but he carries a secret to his grave. Then, the secret shows up for his funeral.

Split
by Bill James.
Recruited by British Intelligence to be a token black spy, Simon's assignment is to track down a fellow agent turned drug lord.

Testimony
by Felicia Mason.
Sex and adultery plague a gospel choir.
Christian fiction.

Thieves' Paradise
by Eric Jerome Dickey.
Dante and his friend Jackson join up with a lowlife con artist named Scamz when they realize they can't make ends meet.

*This Side of the Sky
by Elyse Singleton.
Two lifelong friends fulfill their dream of escaping from rural Mississippi by signing on as WACs and going overseas during World War II.

Walk through Darkness
by David Anthony Durham.
A bounty hunter is chasing William, a fugitive slave who is heading north to find his pregnant wife. Each seeks freedom and a new life.

*We Look Like Men of War
by William R. Forstchen.
A teen runaway slave narrates a gritty tale of the Civil War.

When Twilight Comes
by Gwynne Forster.
When Marge Hairston, publisher of North Carolina's most influential African American newspaper, becomes ill, she must pass on the Woodmore Times to one of her reluctant children.

Wings of Morning
by William Cobb.
Recreates the passion, courage, and confusion of the Civil Rights movement.

Wisdom
by Heather Neff.
Maia has terminal cancer. She hopes the discovery of her ancestors on the island of St. Croix will bring peace and closure.

Without a Name and Under the Tongue
by Yvonne Vera.
Two impressionistic novellas depict the struggles of women during Zimbabwe's civil war in the 1970s.

*You Know Better
by Tina McElroy Ansa.
Three "spirit guides" arrive to help LaShawndra Pines' mother and grandmother search for the18-year-old self-described "ho."

This selected list was compiled by:

Betsy Clarke , Codman Square Branch

Marylou Coveney, Dudley Branch

Denise DeBoer, Fields Corner Branch

Jacqueline Hogan, CLSO

Kathy Kire, Chairperson Teen Services

Sarah Markell , Allston Branch

Margaret Phillibert, Circulation Services

Richard Wintergreen, Adams Street Branch