Boston Public Library
Black Is... 1995: Fiction
Booklists for Adults

AFRICAN RHAPSODY. Nadezda Obradovic, editor.
Stories about the contemporary African experience.

AND ALL OUR WOUNDS FORGIVEN. Julius Lester.
A provocative novel of the civil rights years and their major players.

*BILLY. Albert French.
"A racial incident has tragic consequences in Mississippi in 1937."

*BLACK BETTY. Walter Mosley.
Easy Rawlins, President Clinton's favorite detective, is back.

BLACK GOLD. Anita Richmond Bunkley.
Two African-American families in 1920's Texas.

BLACK HORNET. James Sallis.
Lew Griffin returns to the scene of the crime to find a sniper who has killed six people.

*BLANCHE AMONG THE TALENTED TENTH. Barbara Neely.
Blanche is called on to find a murderer in an exclusive all black resort.

*BREATH, EYES, MEMORY. Edwidge Danticat.
12-year-old Sophie must leave her beloved Haiti and join her mother in New York.

BROTHERS AND SISTERS. Bebe Moore Campbell.
Loyalties based on race and gender complicate relations in a Los Angeles workplace.

CHANGES: A LOVE STORY. Ama Ata Aidoo.
A love story in contemporary urban Africa.

CHESAPEAKE SONG: A NOVEL. Brenda Lane Richardson.
A story of a man and woman who love each other, and have everything except what they really want-- a happy marriage.

CITY OF LIGHT. Cyrus Colter.
A Princeton dropout moves to Paris to establish a homeland for wandering blacks.

*COFFEE WILL MAKE YOU BLACK. April Sinclair.
Coming of age during the Civil Rights movement.

CROSSING THE RIVER. Caryl Phillips.
"A desperate foolishness. The crops failed. I sold my children."

DARKTOWN STRUTTERS: A NOVEL. Wesley Brown.
Jim Crow, a dancing Kentucky slave, is rented to a minstrel show, and has to compete against an Irish immigrant.

FRAGMENTS OF THE ARK. Louis Meriwether.
Slaves steal a Confederate steamboat and flee to the Union forces.

FRAGMENTS THAT REMAIN: A NOVEL. Steven Corbin.
Two brothers, one light skinned-- one dark, one straight-- one gay.

FREE ENTERPRISE: A NOVEL. Michelle Cliff.
Two black women own several hotels that double as refuges for runaway slaves.

*GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD. Lionel Newton.
Teenage Lucas wrestles with the ambiguities of sex, love, religion, and his own identity.

GOD'S COUNTRY: A NOVEL. Percival Everett.
A humorous and haunting rewrite of the great American western.

GONE QUIET. Eleanor Taylor Bland.
The only black female police detective in a small town runs into personal and professional complications when she investigates a murder.

IN SEARCH OF SATISFACTION. J. California Cooper.
Two generations of a mixed slave/white family pull their relatives and neighbors into powerful emotions.

JUST AS I AM: A NOVEL. E. Lynn Harris.
Race, bisexuality, and AIDS are the themes in this story of the power of love.

LILIANE: RESURRECTION OF THE DAUGHTER. Ntozake Shange.
A sensual and artistic renegade is haunted by the suffering of people of color and her own losses.

THE MAD MAN. Samuel R. Delany.
A graduate student begins to take on the characteristics of the depraved man he is researching.

*PARABLE OF THE SOWER. Octavia E. Butler.
An 18-year-old woman who feels others' pain attempts to sensitize a dehumanized world.

PLAN B. Chester B. Himes.
A crime novel, published posthumously, about a black revolution that destroys America.

*THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER. Barbara Chase-Riboud.
Fiction biography of Thomas Jefferson's illegitimate black daughter.

PRESUMED DEAD. Hugh Holton.
Chicago's top cop learns that 188 people have disappeared from a local museum.

THE PRICE YOU PAY: A NOVEL. Barbara Summers.
Black models keep dying in this whodunit/love story.

RATTLEBONE. Maxine Clair.
"Sparkling with lyricism....of these most ordinary lives."

*THE RETURN OF SIMPLE. Langston Hughes.
Previously unpublished Simple stories, and some old favorites.

*RITE OF PASSAGE. Richard Wright.
Never before published story of a runaway who contends with street violence, racism, and poverty.

ROCKING THE BABIES. Linda Raymond.
Martha and Nettie tell each other their life stories while they rock sick babies in an Ohio hospital.

THE SERPENT'S GIFT. Helen Elaine Lee.
Can two families, thrown together because of tragedy, become whole.

SISTERS AND LOVERS. Connie Briscoe.
Three sisters cope with their very different problems in Washington, D.C.

*SIX OUT SEVEN. Jess Mowry.
A sheltered teenager is introduced to street violence when he moves to Oakland.

THE SLEEPER WAKES: HARLEM RENAISSANCE STORIES BY WOMEN. Mary Knopf, editor.

SONGS OF ENCHANTMENT. Ben Okri.
Azaro, the spirit child, continues his journey through the realm of the spirit world and the world of reality, in this sequel to "The Famished Road."

THESE SAME LONG BONES. Gwendolyn Parker.
A black community struggles to build new housing without white interference.

UNDER THE BONE. Anne-Christine d'Adesky.
Political intrigue and violence in Haiti lead an American human-rights worker to the death squads in a search for a missing peasant activist.

UNDERSTAND THIS. Jervey Tervalon.
Survival and doom compete on the streets of South Central Los Angeles.

URBAN ROMANCE: A NOVEL OF NEW YORK IN THE '80s. Nelson George.
A tale of big city love and moral confusion-- told from his point of view.

*Recommended for Teens

This selected list was compiled by:  Moonyean Carlton, General Library Reader and Information Services; Catherine Clancy, General Library Teen Services; Marylou Coveney, South End Branch; Sara Markell, Codman Square Branch.   Winsome Hudson, Brighton Branch, Committee Chairperson.