Eight books by Black authors that aren’t about Black pain
Amid the protests and the struggle and the trauma of fighting for racial justice – something good is starting to emerge out of this difficult time – people are trying to learn.
Different publications and people on Twitter are publishing extensive reading lists that people can use to educate themselves about the history of racism and why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important.
But while it’s crucial to be aware of and read these titles – pain is not the only characteristic of the Black experience. Far from it.
Black authors write books about love, mystery, friendship, crime, magical worlds – there are so many captivating, transcendent stories that you may not be aware of.
If you’re committing yourself to learn more about the Black experience, make sure you consume joyful, uplifting content, alongside the painful history of racism.
Here are seven fantastic and varied books by talented Black authors to start you off:
A stunning debut collection of short stories, Alexia Arthurs unpicks a wide range of elements of Black culture with huge warmth, comedy and nuance.
The stories are about Jamaican immigrants living in America and their families back home.
They delve into love, marriage, friendships and inter-generational displacement.
A great option if you’re a lover of fantasy and mythology.
Daughters of Nri tells the story of two goddesses who grow up believing that they are human.
They embark on an epic journey of self-discovery as they travel to find each other. Strong-willed Naala grows up seeking adventure in her quiet village, while the more reserved Sinai resides in the cold and political palace of Nri.
This emotional thriller is a serious page-turner.
It is the story of two women, who both have secrets, and a serial killer who got away.
At the heart of the story is a choice – should the women reveal their secrets? And will doing so save or sacrifice each other?
This epic historical fantasy has been compared to Game of Thrones, so when we say epic, we mean epic.
In the first book in in Marlon James’s Dark Star trilogy, her brings together myth, fantasy, and history to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child.
Evaristo is best known for her Booker Prize winning novel Girl, Woman, Other – but this funny and moving novel about a secretly gay Antiguan man in his 70s came before, and it is a delight.
The novel tells the story of Barrington Jedidiah Walker – in his own voice. He is a flamboyant local character, a husband, father and grandfather – but he also has a secret relationship with his childhood friend, Morris.
This celebrated debut novel is a story of privilege, family and the stickiness of properly becoming an adult.
The plot is centred around a young Black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
Events are triggered after 25-year-old Emira is confronted by a security guard and accused of kidnap because she is the Black caretaker of a white child.
Everyone and their mum seems to have read Queenie – but it is worth shouting about again because it is, truly, just that good.
This darkly comic and searingly relatable novel follows Queenie as she navigates dating, relationships, career and family life, all through the lens of a young Black woman living in Brixton.
We challenge you not to finish it in less than a week.
A tangled romance (Picture: Diana Evans)
A completely immersive tale of two couples navigating middle class domesticity, parenthood and the unravelling confines of the settled-for life.
Will the couple be torn apart by the pressures of expectation and lost hope? Or will they find what they need within each other?
Allow Diana Evans’ sparkling prose to transport you into their lives in this relatable tale of love and dissatisfaction.