Boston Public Library
Black Is... 2004: Fiction
Booklists for Adults

*Suitable for Teens

47th Street Black: A Novel
by Bayo Ojikutu
Mookie left best friend JC to take a murder rap. Upon his release seven years later, JC is ready to execute the revenge he plotted while in prison.

Acting Out
by Benilde Little
After twelve years of marriage and three children, Ina is divorced and living in the suburbs.

Always True to You in my Fashion
by Valerie Wilson Wesley
Medora Jackson, a 35-year-old artist, has ended her off-and-on relationship with Randall Hollis, a successful art dealer and womanizer. When two new women enter his life, complications force him to come to grips with his philandering ways.

Baby Momma Drama
by Carl Weber
Both men in Jasmine’s life have children by ever-present former girlfriends, and her younger sister Stephanie’s new boyfriend must deal with the reappearance of the father of Stephanie’s daughter.

Bad to the Bone
by Mildred Riley
Facing financial problems Jack Davona, founder of Bad magazine, accepts backing from the wrong people. When the debt goes unpaid his fiancée is targeted. Set in Boston.

Black Powder, White Smoke
by Loren D. Estleman
Two killers, one white and one black, go on the lam in the wild West pursued by a journalist, a show business promoter, and of course, the law.

Blame it on Eve
by Philana Marie Boles
Shawni Baldwin has it all - glamorous life, devoted fiancé, and successful career - but when a gorgeous hip-hop singer comes along, she is knocked off balance.

Blues from Down Deep
by Gwynne Forster
Will Regina have to choose between Justin, the love of her life, and her newly discovered, but dysfunctional family?

Breaking Away
by Kristin Lattany
Strained race relations at an Ivy League university explode when four sorority sisters are harassed by white male students.

Brown Sugar 2: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction
edited by Carol Taylor
These short stories celebrate sex and sexuality, from one-night stands to the final consummation of longtime desire. Contributors include Shay Youngblood, Sandra Kitt, and Nelson George.

by Steven Barnes
A journalist following up on a group of formerly high-risk children who have been trained to succeed in life, finds out their leader is a serial killer.

Chocolate Sangria: A Novel
by Tracy Price-Thompson
While struggling to find her identity, Juanita, green-eyed and light-skinned, complicates matters by becoming involved with a Puerto Rican.

The Chocolate Ship
by Marissa Monteilh
Miles is unfaithful to Mia but she can’t give up “the best sex ever”. Drama on the high seas prevails when the “love boat” sets sail.

Come What May
by Tracee Lydia Garner
Tisha Jameson’s second-grade student, Thomas, thinks she would make the perfect wife for his lonely dad, a former pro football star.

Cover Girls
by T.D. Jakes
The lives of four very different women are woven together as spirituality heals the wounds of their tumultuous pasts.

*Cry Me a River
by Ernest Hill
Tyrone Stokes returns home after ten years in prison, to find that his 17-year-old son will be executed in eight days unless he can prove his innocence.

Dancing on the Edge of the Roof
by Sheila Williams
Fleeing her deadbeat family, 42-year-old Juanita Lewis buys a one-way bus ticket to find a new life in anywhere, USA.

by Asha Bandele
While Aya Rivers lies in a hospital bed gravely wounded by a white policeman’s bullet, her mother sits by her side remembering and regretting the past.

Days of the Dead
by Barbara Hambly
Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin January head to Mexico to prove a friend innocent of murder and track down the true killer.

Diary of a Groupie
by Omar Tyree
After faithfully recording her adventures dating the superrich, Tabitha Knight is offered six figures to make her diary public.

Dirty Laundry: A Charlotte Justice Novel
by Paula L. Woods
When a young female campaign worker is found murdered in Koreatown, Los Angeles, homicide detective Charlotte Justice is assigned to investigate. Third in series.

*Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
by ZZ Packer
The young men and women in these short stories range from the very religious to the doubtful. Each story is full of dark humor and unseen plot twists.

The Ecstatic
by Victor Lavalle
A paranoid schizophrenic weighing 315 pounds, Anthony goes home to be healed by the women in his family. Are they up to this task or do they need to be healed too?

by Olympia Vernon
Fourteen-year-old Maddy Dangerfield comes of age in a very un-Eden-like Pyke County, Mississippi.

The First Thing Smoking
by Nelson Eubanks
From New York City to the ghetto of Pelourinho, Brazil, Maceo struggles with prejudice and hatred in his family where skin color varies. Interconnected short stories.

Friday Nights at Honeybee’s
by Andrea Smith
Two musically gifted but troubled women are taken under the wing of Miss Honeybee McColor, hostess to “gathers” of blues and jazz greats in her Harlem home.

Getting Mother’s Body
by Suzan-Lori Parks
Unmarried and pregnant 16-year-old Billy Beede travels from a small town in Texas to Arizona to retrieve treasure buried with her mother, with the dead woman’s lesbian lover in pursuit.

The Good House
by Tananarive Due
Angela returns to her “mambo” grandmother’s house which had always held her “healing magic”, and finds voodoo, possession, and magic gone awry.

by Elizabeth Nunez
Frustrated by their unfulfilled professional goals, Justin and Sally struggle to keep their marriage in tact.

Gumbo, a Celebration of African American Writing
edited by Marita Golden and E. Lynn Harris
Popular writers contribute to this collection, a tasty mix of varying styles, which is described as a literary “rent party”.

Hearts of Steel
by Geri Guillaume
What to do when you hate football but love the player?

Hottentot Venus
by Barbara Chase-Riboud
This fictional tale of 20-year-old Sarah Baartman, an African bushwoman, who in 1810 was taken to England and exhibited in a cage, nearly nude, as a scientific curiosity, is based on a true story.

*Hunting in Harlem
by Mat Johnson
Horizon Realty, with the help of three ex-cons, is rehabbing dilapidated brownstones in Harlem, left vacant by the sudden and untimely deaths of their poor and “undesirable” tenants.

by Marcia King-Gamble
The product of a relationship between a black GI and a Vietnamese woman, Jade takes a trip to Ho Chi Minh City looking for answers about her birth parents.

Jim and Louella’s Homemade Heart-Fix Remedy
by Bertrice Berry
When the love life of middle-aged Jim and Louella turns downward, advice in the form of dreams from her ancestors helps bring back the passion.

The Last Defense
by Christopher Darden and Dick Lochte
After his recently acquitted client is murdered, Mercer Early must defend the prime suspect, a racist cop.

Lita: A Novel
by Jervey Tervalon
In this sequel to Dead above Ground, the wise and often funny Lita DuChamp returns to New Orleans to confront the ghosts of her past after a decade in California.

*A Little Piece of Sky
by Nicole Bailey-Williams
When her prostitute mother is shot, Song Byrd fights to beat the odds that her life too might take the wrong direction.

Living Large
by Rochelle Alers, Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, and Francis Ray
Four touching stories tell about curvaceous women at pivotal points in their lives, from divorce to pregnancy, and how they find new love and rediscover old passions.

by Toni Morrison
Bill Cosey, once a wealthy and powerful figure in a black seaside community, left behind six women who loved him in a variety of ways.

Love Frustration
by RM Johnson
Unrequited love seems to be Jayson’s fate. He is always being dumped. Will his best friend Asha become more than a friend?

A Love Noire
by Erica Simone Turnipseed
He is an Ivy League-educated, African-born investment banker, and she is a graduate student from Queens who scorns the black bourgeoisie.

Loving Donovan
by Bernice L. McFadden
Campbell learns about the birds and the bees from the gay tenants downstairs. Donovan gets his lessons via a hustler. Can these two high school friends find true love after a 15-year separation?

A Man Most Worthy
by Marcus Major
John has a sexy young girlfriend but longs for his old flame, Josephine. When they meet in the old neighborhood the passion erupts and explodes.

Midnight Sunshine
by Kelvin L. Reed
Nathan Patterson places a personal ad with Asian Love International, but is the woman of his dreams looking for love or a way to America? Set in Boston.

A Mighty Love
by Anita Doreen Diggs
Can Mel and Adrienne’s marriage survive tragedy when their house burns down, and Mel returns to drugs, alcohol, and women?

Mojo: Conjure Stories
edited by Nalo Hopkinson
Fall under the spell of 19 tales rippled with evil, magic, gods, and mere mortals. Travel through the past and the present and even to those times unknown and far-reaching.

More like Wrestling
by Danyel Smith
A hip-hop journalist’s first novel tells the story of two sisters as they come of age amid the drug culture of 1980s Oakland, California.

The Night before Thirty
by Tajuana “TJ” Butler
Five women with only a birth date in common change each other’s lives when they win a weekend cruise to the Bahamas.

Night Work
by Nelson George
Night, a well paid male gigolo, would like a better life as a musician, but gets involved in drugs and murder when his girlfriend asks him to deliver a large quantity of ecstasy.

No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Love Story
by C. Kelly Robinson
After being dumped by Nikki for being too dull, Mitchell comes to believe that women like men who are dogs. Will this new attitude attract the woman of his dreams?

The Other Woman
by Eric Jerome Dickey
Charles is having an affair with Jessica. When his wife finds out, she drifts into a relationship with Jessica’s husband.

The Polished Hoe
by Austin Clarke
As Mary-Mathilda confesses to the police about a murder, the story of the evils of slavery and its legacy on the island of Bimshire (Barbados) is also recounted.

A Prayer for Deliverance
by Christopher Chambers
FBI agent Angela Bivens is investigating a hate group that is committing terrorist attacks on abortion clinics across the country.

*Purple Hibiscus
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Amidst political turmoil in Nigeria, 15-year-old Kambili accepts her father’s religious fanaticism and beatings until a visit to her aunt.

by John Ed Bradley
History, mystery and romance are woven together in this tale of a white journalist and a black art restorer pursuing the racially charged paintings of a Depression-era artist who depicted whites and blacks dancing together at Mardi Gras.

by Darnella Ford
After her mother dies of a drug overdose in a Dorchester project, nine-year-old Symone is adopted by a rich, white couple and subjected to a life of hell.

Sapphire’s Grave
by Hilda Gurley-Highgate
Beginning in Africa in 1749 when a woman is captured and sent to America, the story follows several generations of daughters born with the perseverance, strength, pride and defiant spirit of their African foremother.

Selah’s Bed
by Jenoyne Adams
Selah Wells takes lovers while married to a minister, and uses sex to feel beautiful, gain acceptance, and escape her past.

by Cris Burks
After her fourth husband leaves, Katie balloons to 190 pounds and goes online as SilkyDreamGirl in order to make friends.

Six Easy Pieces
by Walter Mosley
Easy has a warm bed and a woman in it; two children who love him, and a steady paycheck. Is he really ready to live the quiet life, or should he finally unravel the puzzle of Mouse’s disappearance?

Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do
by Pearl Cleage
Recovering cocaine addict Regina Burns reluctantly returns to Atlanta to save her family home. While there her aunt predicts she will meet her life partner, a blue-eyed stranger.

Somebody’s Knocking at My Door
by Francis Ray
A New Orleans stripper, lawyer, art gallery owner and old money are woven into a compelling story about family, love and relationships.

The Stone Virgins
by Yvonne Vera
Violent Zimbabwe is the backdrop for this story of two sisters living in a provincial township.

Such Sweet Thunder
by Vincent O. Carter
Amerigo Jones, a foot soldier in World War II, recalls his Kansas City boyhood, a joyous time despite widespread racial discrimination and poverty.

Taken for Granted
by Earl Sewell
As she turns 40, Nina finds the strength to confront the husband who has been taking her for granted. Richard, a student in her aerobics class, has marital problems that surpass Nina’s.

A Taste of Reality
by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Anise is on the verge of a breakdown from the combination of job discrimination, her failing marriage and a friend’s deception.

Thin Walls
by Kris Nelscott
On the run from the FBI because they witnessed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Smokey Dalton and his son are investigating a new murder. Third in a series.

This Way Home
by Marcia King-Gamble
Liza returns home to live quietly after an attacker left her body and spirit beaten and scarred. Peace and quiet is elusive when strange dreams throw her and Erik, her sexy stepbrother, together.

Three Days as the Crow Flies
by Danny Simmons
When a quick-witted college dropout steals a painting for drug money and then claims to be the artist, he finds himself in a Caligula-like romp through the Manhattan art scene.

Twelve Bar Blues
by Patrick Neate
This “American Jazz” novel spans three continents and two centuries. The legendary musician Lick Holden is at the core of the saga along with magic, myth, music and love.

Until the End of Time
by Melanie Schuster
Andrew has had an unrequited crush on Renee since their college years, but she sees him in a new light when he helps her through a painful ordeal.

Windy City Dying
by Eleanor Taylor Bland
Detective Marti MacAlister faces a vengeance-seeking criminal from her past.

Zulu Heart
by Steven Barnes
A continuation of an alternate history in which whites in America are slaves and Africa rules them. (A sequel to Lion’s Blood.)