A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
One of Oprah’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016
NPR's Debut Novel of the Year
One of Buzzfeed's Best Fiction Books Of 2016
One of Time's Top 10 Novels of 2016
“Homegoing is an inspiration.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates
The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indeliably drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.
Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.
A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream.
Since its publication in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel has been instrumental in shaping American attitudes about slavery and race. Throughout its long publication history, this remarkable novel has been both beloved and criticized, and its impact on antebellum cultural attitudes cannot be denied.
With a diverse and memorable cast of characters, this sentimental novel depicts both the grim realities of slavery and the tremendous strength of character that can triumph over adversity. In Uncle Tom, a noble and pious slave, readers see a man whose dignity, morality, and goodness are never compromised even by the horrors of slavery. Personifying the evils of the institution of slavery is Simon Legree, a ruthless plantation owner.
This deeply affecting novel remains a cornerstone of American history.
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Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.
In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning twenty years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all.
The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award–nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation), and remains a wrenching—yet intensely uplifting—experience for new generations of readers.
This ebook features a new introduction written by the author on the twenty-fifth anniversary of publication, and an illustrated biography of Alice Walker including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.
Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.
This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Book of Negroes (based on the novel Someone Knows My Name) will be BET’s first miniseries. The star-studded production includes lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (A Raisin in the Sun, Boardwalk Empire), and features Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line). Director and co-writer Clement Virgo is a feature film and television director (The Wire) who also serves as producer with executive producer Damon D’Oliveira (What We Have).
In this “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “heart-stopping” (Washington Post) work, Aminata Diallo, one of the strongest women characters in contemporary fiction, is kidnapped from Africa as a child and sold as a slave in South Carolina. Fleeing to Canada after the Revolutionary War, she escapes to attempt a new life in freedom.
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Twelve Years a Slave is a memoir of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped, sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before the American Civil War. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, DC, as well as describing at length cotton cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.
Published soon after Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Northup's book sold 30,000 copies and was considered a bestseller. It went through several editions in the nineteenth century. Supporting Stowe's fictional narrative in detail, Northup’s first-hand account of his twelve years of bondage proved another bombshell in the national political debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War, drawing endorsements from major Northern newspapers, anti-slavery organizations, and evangelical groups.
"This was one fantastic read! A really fascinating story which I couldn't put down, so this is easily a 5 stars. Isn't there a 6 star option?" ~ reviewer Corazie
"Excellent read that sucks you in till the end" ~ reviewer Moon Cat
"Fantastic Gothic Mystery." ~ reviewer Karen Fowler
Cara Moreau is dying from a supernatural curse. Her only chance of survival lies with the warrior, an enigmatic man who comes from a realm "in between." Quin St. Clair lived hundreds of years ago, but now exists solely to protect the world he once called home. That's all he will tell Cara, the woman he must keep alive by remaining close to her. Very close.
But Cara is determined to discover more answers as she grows to like her warrior. While they search for the book of spells and the cure contained within its pages, their feelings for one another can no longer be denied. But what will happen when Cara is cured and Quin's assignment is complete? And can she trust this mysterious man with the book if they find it?
As friends and family from the previous Freak House novels help them, and old and new foes vie for power, Quin and Cara must not allow their feelings to get in the way of their task. Or Cara's life, and Quin's afterlife, may be cut short.
GHOST GIRL is the start of the 3rd Freak House Trilogy. You do not have to read the 1st and 2nd trilogies to enjoy the 3rd.
Keywords: ghosts, spirits, paranormal romance, paranormal fantasy, historical fantasy, victorian era, victorian historical romance, interracial, demons, mediums, historical paranormal, woman of color
Rich in mood and atmosphere, The Healing is a warmhearted novel about the unbreakable bonds between three generations of female healers and their power to restore the body, the spirit, and the soul.
In Antebellum Mississippi, Granada Satterfield has the mixed fortune to be born on the same day that her plantation mistress's daughter, Becky, dies of cholera. Believing that the newborn possesses some of her daughter's spirit, the Mistress Amanda adopts Granada, dolling her up in Becky's dresses and giving her a special place in the family despite her husband's protests. But when The Master brings a woman named Polly Shine to help quell the debilitating plague that is sweeping through the slave quarters, Granada's life changes. For Polly sees something in the young girl, a spark of "The Healing," and a domestic battle of wills begins, one that will bring the two closer but that will ultimately lead to a great tragedy. And seventy-five years later, Granada, still living on the abandoned plantation long after slavery ended, must revive the buried memories before history repeats itself.
Inspirational and suspenseful, The Healing is the kind of historical fiction readers can’t put down—and can’t wait to recommend once they’ve finished.
"A remarkable rite-of-passage novel with an unforgettable character. . . . The Healing transcends any clichés of the genre with its captivating, at times almost lyrical, prose; its firm grasp of history; vivid scenes; and vital, fully realized people, particularly the slaves with their many shades of color and modes of survival." —The Associated Press
From the Hardcover edition.
The epic, unforgettable story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her, this beautiful and devastating debut heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.
Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby Bell, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city—the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village—all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother. When a telegram from her cousin forces her to return home, thirty-year-old Ruby finds herself reliving the devastating violence of her girlhood. With the terrifying realization that she might not be strong enough to fight her way back out again, Ruby struggles to survive her memories of the town’s dark past. Meanwhile, Ephram must choose between loyalty to the sister who raised him and the chance for a life with the woman he has loved since he was a boy.
Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage. This wondrous page-turner rushes through the red dust and gossip of Main Street, to the pit fire where men swill bootleg outside Bloom’s Juke, to Celia Jennings’s kitchen, where a cake is being made, yolk by yolk, that Ephram will use to try to begin again with Ruby. Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.
The New York Times noted that this 1892 work was "probably the bestselling novel by an African-American before the twentieth century." It bears the additional distinction of being among the first novels published by an African-American woman. Author Frances E. W. Harper, a popular lecturer and poet, was a leader in the suffrage and temperance movements and a founding member of the National Association of Colored Women. In Iola Leroy, she advocates female self-sufficiency and independence within the context of a gripping work of historical fiction.
An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. His home--and himself in it--may no longer be as he remembers it, but Frank is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from, which he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood--and his home.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith
A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year
“A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.” –cover review of The New York Times Book Review
“Outrageously entertaining.” –USA Today
“James McBride delivers another tour de force” –Essence
“So imaginative, you’ll race to the finish.” –NPR.org
“Wildly entertaining.”—4-star People lead review
"A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.” – Washington Post
Look out for McBride's new book, Five-Carat Soul
From the bestselling author of The Color of Water, Song Yet Sung, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography, comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.
Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.
Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859—one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.
An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.
(Colored Lily: Poppa Took My Innocence is the second book of the SECRET novel collection. Secret is the first and Paton is the third and final book.)
What would a daughter want more from her father than his love? However, in a small town, a teenage girl called by the name of Jocie, finds out how the love she once adored from her poppa can become twisted and feel so much like hatred, causing hell-grown wounds.
Going on a search for the love that she yearns so deeply, Jocie winds up with worse than she bargained for, and without an escape, ends up in the midst of death, darkness, and a cold conception while gripping the darkest secret that only God in heaven can know and forgive!
Next, read the third and final book from the pages of this highly successful novel series titled Paton, the story of Jocie's father, now!
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A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016
"Simply miraculous...As her saga becomes ever more spellbinding, so does the reader's astonishment at the magic she creates. This is a story about the triumph of the human spirit over bigotry, intolerance and cruelty, and at the center of The Book of Harlan is the restorative force that is music.”
“Another one of Bernice L. McFadden’s masterpieces…McFadden took me on a melodious literary journey through time and place—complex, real, beautifully raw, and necessary…McFadden’s prose lingers, giving me courage to stay committed to telling authentic stories that, while revealing of unspeakable truths, serve to unite us all.”
"I've finally discovered a writer I should've been reading for years!...McFadden has a gift for placing her characters into the vivid history swirling around them, but keeping their emotional experience front and center in the story. There's a Zora Neale Hurston sensibility to the way she does that."
--MPR News, Kerri Miller's Must-Read
"McFadden's writing breaks the heart--and then heals it again. The perspective of a black man in a concentration camp is unique and harrowing and this is a riveting, worthwhile read."
"The Book of Harlan is an incredible read. Bernice McFadden…has created an amazing novel that speaks to lesser known aspects of the African-American experience and illuminates the human heart and spirit. Her spare prose is rich in details that convey deep emotions and draw the reader in. This fictional narrative of Harlan Elliot’s life is firmly grounded amidst real people and places—prime historical fiction, and the best book I have read this year.”
--Historical Novels Review, Editors’ Choice
"McFadden packs a powerful punch with tight prose and short chapters that bear witness to key events in early twentieth-century history: both World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Great Migration. Partly set in the Jim Crow South, the novel succeeds in showing the prevalence of racism all across the country--whether implemented through institutionalized mechanisms or otherwise. Playing with themes of divine justice and the suffering of the righteous, McFadden presents a remarkably crisp portrait of one average man's extraordinary bravery in the face of pure evil."
--Booklist, Starred review
"Through this character portrait of Harlan, McFadden has constructed a vivid, compelling narrative that makes historical fiction an accessible, literary window into the African-American past and some of the contemporary dilemmas of the present."
“McFadden’s impressive achievement offers us a window into the often very difficult lives of African Americans from the Jim Crow era up to the present--and, unexpectedly, in wartime Germany. Highly recommended for showing us that however badly black citizens have historically been treated, black lives matter.”
The Book of Harlan opens with the courtship of Harlan's parents and his 1917 birth in Macon, Georgia. After his prominent minister grandfather dies, Harlan and his parents move to Harlem, where he eventually becomes a professional musician. When Harlan and his best friend, trumpeter Lizard Robbins, are invited to perform at a popular cabaret in the Parisian enclave of Montmartre--affectionately referred to as "The Harlem of Paris" by black American musicians--Harlan jumps at the opportunity, convincing Lizard to join him.
But after the City of Light falls under Nazi occupation, Harlan and Lizard are thrown into Buchenwald--the notorious concentration camp in Weimar, Germany--irreparably changing the course of Harlan's life. Based on exhaustive research and told in McFadden's mesmeric prose, The Book of Harlan skillfully blends the stories of McFadden's familial ancestors with those of real and imagined characters.
The novel begins as “The Great War” is coming to an end. As Robert Parker’s body is lowered into the grave, Herman Camm introduces himself to the mourning family. He is a beady-eyed, small-framed, well-dressed man with a mysterious stare—and he is about to drastically change the lives of three women: Mae Lou Parker; her daughter, Carrie; and Pearl Brown.
On Christmas Eve in Jefferson County, Virginia, trouble arrives when Carrie reveals a disturbing secret that will haunt and change their lives forever. Mae Lou is fed up with Herman spending time with other women and she goes to confront him. Everybody wants a part of him, including Willie; however, the tables are slightly turned when Willie ends up with a gun pointing directly at him.
All of the stories converge when Herman is found dead from a shotgun wound. There are many people Herman has offended. And all three women are suspects in his murder. An investigation is launched. But no one really cares, including the police. Blackberry Days of Summer is a brilliantly crafted story of family secrets, complexity and the courage of forgiveness.
Lyrical, poetic, and hypnotizing, The Coming tells the story of a people's capture and sojourn from their homeland across the Middle Passage--a traumatic trip that exposed the strength and resolve of the African spirit. Extreme conditions produce extraordinary insight, and only after being stripped of everything do they discover the unspeakable beauty they once took for granted. This powerful, haunting novel will shake readers to their very souls.
"Part homage to the proud and diverse cultures of Africa, part nightmare of the people stolen from those lands, The Coming seduces us with poetry, then breaks our hearts, but ultimately inspires us to celebrate the indomitable soul of humanity." —George Weinstein, author of Hardscrabble Road
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.
A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.
Voodoo Dreams is the spellbinding story of the woman behind the legend. Raised by her Grandmère in the Louisiana bayou, Marie ventures to New Orleans and begins a journey of self-discovery, hoping to find her lost Maman and understand the visions that haunt her dreams. Instead, she runs headlong into the brutality of slavery and oppression and into the arms of John, the voodoo doctor who promises to teach her what Grandmère will not. As she falls under his spell, John sweeps Marie into a world of voodoo ceremonies, of drama and manipulation, and of sometimes terrifying power. A mesmerizing combination of history and story telling, Voodoo Dreams was Jewell Parker Rhodes first novel and a B&N Discover Great New Writers selection.
At the same time, Sam's wife, Tilda, is being forced to walk at gunpoint with her owner and two of his other slaves from the charred remains of his Mississippi farm into Arkansas, in search of an undefined place that would still respect his entitlements as slaveowner and Confederate officer.
The book's third main character, Prudence, is a fearless, headstrong white woman of means who leaves her Boston home for Buford, Mississippi, to start a school for the former bondsmen, and thus honor her father’s dying wish.
At bottom, Freeman is a love story--sweeping, generous, brutal, compassionate, patient--about the feelings people were determined to honor, despite the enormous constraints of the times. It is this aspect of the book that should ensure it a strong, vocal, core audience of African-American women, who will help propel its likely critical acclaim to a wider audience. At the same time, this book addresses several themes that are still hotly debated today, some 145 years after the official end of the Civil War. Like Cold Mountain, Freeman illuminates the times and places it describes from a fresh perspective, with stunning results. It has the potential to become a classic addition to the literature dealing with this period. Few other novels so powerfully capture the pathos and possibility of the era particularly as it reflects the ordeal of the black slaves grappling with the promise--and the terror--of their new status as free men and women.
Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim - A 15-minute Instaread Summary
Inside this Instaread Summary:
• Overview of the entire book
• Introduction to the important people in the book
• Summary and analysis of all the chapters in the book
• Key Takeaways of the book
• A Reader's Perspective
Preview of this summary:
This is the story of the slave, Mattie, and the little girl in her care, Elizabeth Wainwright, as well as the love they had for each other.Chapter 1
Mattie, a field slave who works for the Wainwright family in Virginia, is brought in to be a house slave working as a wet nurse. She is to care for newborn, Elizabeth Wainwright, daughter of Ann Wainwright. She must leave behind her own child, Samuel, in the care of her grandfather, Poppy, and Rebecca, another slave who is also nursing a baby of her own at the time.Chapter 2
Two days after Elizabeth’s birth, Mrs. Gray, the housekeeper, gives Mattie more instructions on her duties in the house. She tells her that Mrs. Wainwright is well enough to see the baby now, and Mattie is to take her to see her. Ann Wainwright, as a new mother, is nervous about handling the baby. When she holds Elizabeth and realizes the baby is hungry, she immediately gives her over to Mattie to be nursed...
Beginning in the late 1950s, this novel tells the story of Marietta Cook, a tall girl growing up in Pine Gardens, a Gullah-speaking village in South Carolina. When Marietta’s mother passes, she heads to Charleston in search of her uncle—only to find a lover and return pregnant with twins two years later. She raises her sons back home in the low country before moving the family to Charleston, where she takes a growing interest in football and the civil rights movement. The boys grow huge and talented at the game, playing pro football in California. A new world and new travails await, but Marietta’s great resilience endures.
This is the life of an extraordinary soul, and a novel with a beautifully vivid sense of place.
Billy Ray Matthias is the handsome younger son of the church’s new pastor. Benny is the daughter of an oil rich family. Billy Ray is convinced that Benny is the woman God would have him settle down with. Benny, on the other hand, recently had her heart broken. She is not the least bit interested in getting involved anytime soon. As Billy’s pursuit of Benny intensifies, so does the political and social climate in the prosperous African American neighborhood known as the Greenwood District..
Racial tensions in Tulsa escalate when Dick Rowland, a black man, is accused by a local newspaper of raping Sarah Page, a white woman, on an elevator. Benny's brother Ethan and a radical white attorney by the name of Maynard Vaughn despite continuous threats put their weight and energy behind helping Dick. Meanwhile, the White Glove Society, a racist group seeks to destroy not only Dick but all the African Americans in this successful black owned community. As tensions come to a head and violence breaks out, Billy and Benny are caught up in the heat of chaos. He vows to keep her safe but will Benny let him? And will faith in God be enough to sustain the people of the community as their lives are being changed forever by deadly acts of hatred?
The year is 1947, and Ms. Etta's Fast House is the hottest nightclub this side of Chicago. The city's slickest street hustlers rub elbows here with the rich and famous, and anyone with enough cash can drink like a king and dance the night away. Life is good--until a stranger named Baltimore Floyd strolls into town. . .
Baltimore is a handsome, charismatic hustler with a talent for stirring up trouble. Everyone adores him--including Ms. Etta herself. But before he can imagine settling down with one woman, Baltimore is up for a little action, which is how he hooks up with a corrupt cop's wife--and finds himself on trial for a crime he didn't commit. Now, to keep him from hanging, the patrons of Ms. Etta's Fast House will need to heal their heartache and come together before the world beyond the Ville's borders tears them apart. . .
"A captivating and enjoyable read that takes you on a unique journey into the past." --Urban Reviews
"A talented storyteller." --QBR
All the wealth in the world can't buy willing surrender.
Andrew MacIntyre, heir to a vast empire of railroads, mines and mills, is the second or third richest man in America, and by far the most eligible bachelor among the society folk summering in Newport, Rhode Island. His mother has filled their opulent mansion with marriageable daughters of bankers and industrialists, but Andrew knows none of these callow young women can satisfy his perverse sexual needs. No respectable girl would ever consent to being bound and beaten, to serving and obeying him the way he craves. His money gives him the freedom to purchase anything except his heart's desire—a submissive partner to share his life.
Independent, progressive and well-educated, labour activist Olivia Alcott has dedicated herself to improving the lot of the workers who toil in the factories that have made Andrew and his class so wealthy. The strike she organises triggers a confrontation between her and the handsome billionaire. Although their disparate backgrounds and values make them natural foes, something stronger draws them to one another—an intuitive recognition of complementary fantasies.
Andrew offers Olivia a bargain— better working conditions for the mill staff, in return for a weekend of her unquestioning obedience. Olivia will help him deflect the attentions of the potential mates assembled by his mother, as well as providing more intimate services. Given Olivia's origins, a more enduring relationship appears impossible—but Andrew is not the sort to give up something he wants.
'Hot for Him' by Amy Armstrong
Is self-confessed control freak Elena able to let go of her fears to win her heart's desire—the enigmatic billionaire Charles Hunt—a man who requires nothing less than her absolute submission?
When feisty wild child Elena Meadows is invited to Cannes by her uncle Henry, the timing couldn't be better. A successful interior designer in London, Elena is a stout believer in the old adage work hard, play harder, but her fast-paced lifestyle is beginning to take its toll. A week basking in the heat of the French Riviera sounds like the perfect way to recharge, but upon her arrival she discovers that Henry has been inadvertently called away leaving his business partner Charles Hunt to man the helm. Elena has always been attracted to the American billionaire, but found his dominant personality at odds with her own.
Charles has never hidden his desire for Elena, but will accept nothing less than her absolute submission. If Elena could learn to relinquish control, they would make a formidable couple, but breaking the habit of a lifetime doesn't come easy for a self-confessed control freak even though the sexual tension between them sizzles hotter than the midday sun.
'Belonging to Him' by Sam Crescent
He won't take no for an answer.
Simon Allen is a billionaire and a dominant. He takes what he wants and to hell with the consequences. From the moment Hope Pattern enters his office for her interview as his personal assistant, Simon knows he is going to have her.
Taking Hope as his sub is the easy part. She gives him everything: her body, her trust and her heart. But she refuses to be his wife. Simon will not give up until Hope is his wife. He hasn't become a billionaire by giving up. Hope will be his.
She is crumbling under his domination. What will happen when she gives Simon that last part of herself? Will he be done with her or will he finally prove to her what it means to be his woman?
'Devoted to Him' by Cheryl Dragon
Both from broken homes, Jason and Fiona take marriage very seriously. Will tradition ruin their kink or make them even more committed?
Jason Abbot is a man who has everything, including the perfect submissive fiancée. His parents' ugly divorce and Fiona's lack of a father at all in her life has him convinced that commitment and tradition are the only ways to make them both feel safe. Marriage won't curtail their bondage play or his dominant side. However, one change seems only logical—Jason has shared Fiona with other Doms before, but how can he share his wife? When she starts questioning that change, his doubts grow. Being a good Dom is one thing but being a reliable husband is another.
Fiona loves only Jason but enjoys letting Doms-in-training practise on her and pleasing two men in role-playing scenes. She also knows just how much Jason loves to share and watch her in action with other men. Her entire sex life is about what Jason wants since he fulfils her needs perfectly. Commitment doesn't have to mean cutting out what they both enjoy. She knows she can live without other men, but marriage is forever and she doesn't want him to grow bored with her. Pleasing him is all that matters and she knows when pushing back is better than obedience—especially when he punishes her so well!
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of bondage, spanking, piercing, hot wax, dominance, and submission between consenting adults. One scene of MFM sex with double penetration (no MM content).
'Ready for Him' by Tanith Davenport
She's ready for him—is he ready for her?
In the bar at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Jade Bleecker celebrates with her three best friends, all of whom are there to get married. Jade is their bridesmaid, and beginning to believe that three times a bridesmaid really does mean never a bride. Tattooed, pierced and a martial artist, Jade is used to inspiring fear rather than desire in men, and even if she did find one who could handle her—well, no man is worth trusting with her body.
But as she is leaving the bar, she comes upon a mugging in progress and, with a few swift moves, makes short work of the mugger. Invited up to the victim's room for a nightcap, she is stunned to discover he is Will Vandenmeer—billionaire poster child of the Vandenmeer hotel and casino chain, and owner of The Sanctuary, one of the best-known BDSM clubs in New York City.
Jade finds herself hopelessly attracted to the sensual, dominant Will, and when he offers to induct her into the world of BDSM, she accepts...but can she truly give herself to him, and is Will ready for what Jade has to offer?
'Working for Him' by Willa Edwards
To complete the merger of his career, can Richard convince his submissive Serena to be tied up in a whole different kind of knot?
Serena Carter looks forward to the Vertical Aeronautics company meeting every year. Not for the hour-long lectures on corporate policy or earning reports, but to meet with her Master, the billionaire CEO of the company, Richard Barrett. For the course of the week-long conference, they meet to explore their dark desires for submission and domination, only to part ways at the end of each meeting to their own separate lives. Except this year her Master has a surprise that will surpass anything they've explored before.
Richard loves his time mastering Serena. She's the perfect sub, obedient without being cowardly, responsive, and just as interested in a little no-strings fun. But when the biggest deal of his career starts to go downhill due to his playboy ways, he gets the great idea to ask his little subbie to marry him, to give him a more conservative image and close the deal. But she stuns him when she rejects his request and flees, forcing him to reassess his plan.
Can Richard convince Serena that his proposal is more than just a business arrangement? Or will he lose his favourite submissive because of his own stubborn pride?
“100 Notable Books of 2012” —New York Times
“50 Best Books of 2012” —Washington Post
"McFadden works a kind of miracle -- not only do [her characters] retain their appealing humanity; their story eclipses the bonds of history to offer continuous surprises . . . Beautiful and evocative, Gathering of Waters brings three generations to life . . . The real power of the narrative lies in the richness and complexity of the characters. While they inhabit these pages they live, and they do so gloriously and messily and magically, so that we are at last sorry to see them go, and we sit with those small moments we had with them and worry over them, enchanted, until they become something like our own memories, dimmed by time, but alive with the ghosts of the past, and burning with spirits."
--New York Times Book Review
"Read it aloud. Hire a chorus to chant it to you and anyone else interested in hearing about civil rights and uncivil desires, about the dark heat of hate, about the force of forgiveness."
--Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR
"McFadden combines events of Biblical proportions--from flooding to resurrection--with history to create a cautionary, redemptive tale that spans the early twentieth century to the start of Hurricane Katrina. She compellingly invites readers to consider the distinctions between 'truth or fantasy' . . . In McFadden's boldly spun yarn, consequences extend across time and place. This is an arresting historical portrait of Southern life with reimagined outcomes, suggesting that hope in the enduring power of memory can offer healing where justice does not suffice."
"The rich text is shaped by the African American storytelling tradition and layered with significant American histories. Recalling the woven spirituality of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, this work will appeal to readers of mystic literature."
"McFadden makes powerful use of imagery in this fantastical novel of ever-flowing waters and troubled spirits."
"In this fierce reimagining, the actual town of Money, MS narrates the story about the ghost of Emmett Till and his from-the-other-side reunification with the girl he loved as a child in Gathering of Waters by Bernice L. McFadden."
Gathering of Waters is a deeply engrossing tale narrated by the town of Money, Mississippi--a site both significant and infamous in our collective story as a nation. Money is personified in this haunting story, which chronicles its troubled history following the arrival of the Hilson and Bryant families.
Tass Hilson and Emmett Till were young and in love when Emmett was brutally murdered in 1955. Anxious to escape the town, Tass marries Maximillian May and relocates to Detroit.
Forty years later, after the death of her husband, Tass returns to Money and fantasy takes flesh when Emmett Till's spirit is finally released from the dank, dark waters of the Tallahatchie River. The two lovers are reunited, bringing the story to an enchanting and profound conclusion.
Gathering of Waters mines the truth about Money, Mississippi, as well as the town's families, and threads their history over decades. The bare-bones realism--both disturbing and riveting--combined with a magical realm in which ghosts have the final say, is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's Beloved.
Samson is a slave to a brutal and unfaithful plantation owner. When he prevents his owner from slapping his beautiful white wife, he is punished badly. Susan, the owner's wife is compelled to help Samson while at the same time getting revenge on her cheating husband. She locks herself up in a barn with Samson and two black slaves as a way of showing gratitude. Can she handle 3 big black slaves?
Warning! This 11,130 word erotic story contains explicit scenes of three big black males and one white female and includes: double penetration, triple penetration, anal creampies, creampies and impregnation and more as Susan uses every part of her body to thank the big black slaves for their service.
The Plantation II: The Black Man's Curse
Anne Meckling and her husband, Bill are plantation owners next to another plantation owned by Susan and John. When the two couples head out to an auction to buy more plantation workers, Susan lets her friend in on a little secret... she's seen the magnificent rod of not just one black man, but three. Anne is shocked and surprised that her neighbor, and more importantly her friend has not only seen one of her worker's manhood but she's gone a few steps further with three of them. Anne warns Susan of the dangers of her actions and heads back home with her husband after buying 4 new workers for the plantation.
On her ride there, a voice whispers to her, the black man's curse. Unbeknownst to Anne, Susan had blamed another worker to protect the three black men she had experienced. As he was led away, he laid a curse on the lands, claiming that all the plantation owners' wives will crave their black workers. When Anne arrives home, the curse slowly takes over her until she can no longer hold it in. She heads out to the small farm holding their 4 newly bought big black workers.
Once there, she has quite the encounter and an experience she would never be able to have with her husband. As the night goes on, the curse causes her to go absolutely wild in the hot grasps of the 4 big black men. But is her insatiable hunger a match for the never ending endurance of the 4 big black men?
The Plantation III: The White Wives' Burden
Susan and Anne have both experienced the power of their big black slaves, but as a drought hits the South, their husbands are constantly at home. When Susan visits Anne, the two begin talking about the feelings of pleasure they experienced and soon realize that they both crave more. The two devise a plan to use a small secluded area owned by Anne's husband to bring their slaves and have a bit of a party on their own.
Both white wives agree to bring four of their strongest black slaves and share them between each other to experience pleasure beyond their wildest imaginations. Before their pleasures get the best of them, they need to make sure their plan is airtight, with no room for error. Can the two white wives get their favorite black slaves away for an intense night of passion?
On a scorching day in August 1954, thirteen-year-old Jubie Watts leaves Charlotte, North Carolina, with her family for a Florida vacation. Crammed into the Packard along with Jubie are her three siblings, her mother, and the family's black maid, Mary Luther. For as long as Jubie can remember, Mary has been there--cooking, cleaning, compensating for her father's rages and her mother's benign neglect, and loving Jubie unconditionally.
Bright and curious, Jubie takes note of the anti-integration signs they pass, and of the racial tension that builds as they journey further south. But she could never have predicted the shocking turn their trip will take. Now, in the wake of tragedy, Jubie must confront her parents' failings and limitations, decide where her own convictions lie, and make the tumultuous leap to independence. . .
Infused with the intensity of a changing time, here is a story of hope, heartbreak, and the love and courage that can transform us--from child to adult, from wounded to indomitable.
"A beautiful book that fans of The Help will enjoy." --Karen White, New York Times bestselling author
"Mayhew keeps the story taut, thoughtful and complex, elevating it from the throng of coming-of-age books." --Publishers Weekly
"A must-read for fans of The Help." --Woman's World
"Written with unusual charm, wonderful dialogue, and a deeply felt sense of time and place, The Dry Grass of August is a book for adults and young people both--a beautifully written literary novel that is a real page-turner, I have to add. Fast, suspenseful, and meaningful. I read this book straight through." --Lee Smith, author of Last Girls and Fair and Tender Ladies
"Because the novel is totally true to Jubie's point of view, it generates gripping drama as we watch her reach beyond authority to question law and order." --Booklist
"A masterful work of blending time and place." --The Charlotte Observer
"A beautifully written and important novel. Set in the 1950s South, it deals with race relations in an original, powerful way. It's also a great story about complicated family relationships, told with humor, delicacy, and penetrating insight. I wish I had written this book." -- Angela Davis-Gardner, author of Butterfly's Child
"Anna Jean Mayhew has a true ear for Southern speech. . .The Dry Grass of August is a carefully researched, beautifully written, quietly told tale of love and despair and a look backward at the way it was back then in the South." --The Pilot (Southern Pines, North Carolina)
"Deeply felt, lasting relationships formed in the mid-20th century South between white families and the African-American women who took care of them. In The Dry Grass of August, Mayhew explores the love and conflicting loyalties in one such extended family, adult and child, black and white. She does so with honesty and sympathy, intimate knowledge and valuable perspective, as well as beautiful writing. This is an important story about the Southern experience and the women who helped to form the American generation now at the peak of its powers." --Peggy Payne, author of Sister India
"Once you've experienced The Dry Grass of August, you'll swiftly see that Anna Jean Mayhew's debut novel deserves all the early praise it's getting. . .the power, bravery and beauty of Mayhew's narrative is beyond contestation and well-deserving of a wide readership." --BookPage
"An extraordinary, absorbing novel." --Historical Novel Reviews
When Rachel, hired help in a Chicago boardinghouse, falls in love with Isaac, the boardinghouse owner's son, he makes her a bargain: he'll marry her, but only if she gives up her 160 acres from the Homestead Act so he can double his share. She agrees, and together they stake their claim in the forebodingly beautiful South Dakota Badlands.
Fourteen years later, in the summer of 1917, the cattle are bellowing with thirst. It hasn't rained in months, and supplies have dwindled. Pregnant, and struggling to feed her family, Rachel is isolated by more than just geography. She is determined to give her surviving children the life they deserve, but she knows that her husband, a fiercely proud former Buffalo Soldier, will never leave his ranch: black families are rare in the West, and land means a measure of equality with the white man. Somehow Rachel must find the strength to do what is right-for herself, and for her children.
Reminiscent of The Color Purple as well as the frontier novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree opens a window on the little-known history of African American homesteaders and gives voice to an extraordinary heroine who embodies the spirit that built America.
"If you liked The Help, you'll love this one!"--EW.com
In a novel that “brings authentic history to light,”* a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible in 1946: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South.
Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country.
As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. The book was a sensation, featured on the cover of Time magazine, and banned more than any other book in the South. And then M.P. Calhoun disappeared.
With Thurgood’s permission, Regina heads down to Mississippi to find Calhoun and investigate the case. But as she navigates the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past, she finds that nothing in the South is as it seems.
Named one of four titles on the shortlist for this year’s Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, awarded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation
READERS GUIDE INCLUDED
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Having lost virtually everything in the fearsome storm—home, family, first love—Robert Chatham embarks on an odyssey that takes him through the deep South, from the desperation of a refugee camp to the fiery and raucous brothel Hotel Beau-Miel and into the Mississippi hinterland, where he joins a crew hired to clear the swamp and build a dam.
Along his journey he encounters piano-playing hustlers, ne’er-do-well Klansmen, well-intentioned whores, and a family of fur trappers, the L’Etangs, whose very existence is threatened by the swamp-clearing around them. The L’Etang brothers are fierce and wild but there is something soft about their cousin Frankie, possibly the only woman capable of penetrating Robert’s darkest places and overturning his conviction that he’s marked by the devil.
Teeming with language that renders both the savage beauty and complex humanity of our shared past, Southern Cross the Dog is a tour de force that heralds the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.
Joyce and her young daughter, Trina, are members of a utopian community ruled by a magnetic preacher. When Trina, plays too near to the cage holding the commune’s gorilla, Adam, the ape attacks and kills the child. Or so everyone believes. That night, the preacher dramatically “revives” her—an act that transforms Trina into a symbol of its charismatic leader’s God-like power. Desperate to save her daughter from the preacher’s control, the outspoken Joyce attempts a daring escape, a run for freedom aided by another prisoner—the remarkable Adam.
Told with a sweeping perspective in lush prose, shimmering with magic, and devastating in its clarity, Children of Paradise is a brilliant and evocative exploration of oppression—of both mind and body—and of the liberating power of storytelling.
Charlie tells the story of the trial and its aftermath. Woven into his narrative are actual court records, letters, newspaper stories, and personal accounts, reflecting the arc of history in characters large and small, in events local and global. Charlie falls in love with Harriet, a girl orphaned by the murder; meets Virgie's blind attorney George Fields, a former slave; and encounters physician Walter Plecker, a state official who pursues racial purity laws later emulated in Nazi Germany.
There is much to admire in the pages of Forsaken, especially the vivid sense of time and place, Hampton Roads after the Civil War and Reconstruction. The novel's premise is ambitious, its events striking and tragic, and fiction and nonfiction are deftly blended in this powerful read on the themes of injustice, corruption, and racial conflict set in the poisonous epoch known as Jim Crow.
When Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines, he catches sight of Delia. Before their first dance ends, he knows for certain she’s the one. They fall madly in love; happily, impatiently, imprudently, in love. It doesn’t matter that her daddy is staunchly opposed to the thought of his daughter marrying a cotton farmer, never mind a poor one.
It’s true Benjamin has little to offer; he’s a sharecropper who will spend his whole life sweating and slaving to do little more than put food on the table. But that’s how things are in Alabama. Benjamin is better off than most; he has a wife, a boy he adores, and a house that doesn’t leak rain. Yes, Benjamin considers himself a lucky man until the fateful night that changes everything.
The Howland dynasty began after the War of 1812, when a young Tennessee solider fighting for Andrew Jackson settled in Alabama. Over the next century, the Howlands accumulated a fortune, fought for Secession, helped rebuild the South, and established themselves as one of the most respected families in the state. But that history means little to Abigail Howland.
Though she inherited the Howland manse, her fortunes reverse when her family’s mixed-race heritage comes to light and her community—locked in the prejudices of the 1960s—turns its back on her. Faced with such deep-seated prejudice, Abigail is pushed to defend her family at all costs.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, The Keepers of the House is an unforgettable story of family, tradition, and racial injustice set against the richly drawn backdrop of the American South.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Shirley Ann Grau, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.
Sailing to Shanghai in 1936, Thomas Greene goes from playing classical piano for pennies in segregated Baltimore to living in a mansion with his own servants, the leader of a black jazz orchestra. Song Yuhua has been bonded since age eighteen to Shanghai’s toughest crime boss, but risks her life spying on him for the Communist Party. With Shanghai shattered by the Japanese invasion, Thomas and Song find one another and forge a bond neither can deny. Torn between music and survival, freedom and commitment, love and war, they navigate the city’s growing dangers until the moment when they must cast their lots in Night in Shanghai’s final, impossible choice.
"Incomparable charisma and verve." —The Root, Best Fiction of 2015
"Lean, mean, and moving." —Kirkus Reviews, Kirkus Prize nominee
Jabari Asim’s debut novel returns readers to Gateway City, the fictional Midwestern city first explored in his acclaimed short story collection, Taste of Honey. Against a 1970s backdrop of rapid social and political change, Only the Strong portrays the challenges and rewards of love in a quintessential American community where heartbreak and violence are seldom far away.
Moved by the death of Martin Luther King Jr., Lorenzo "Guts" Tolliver decides to abandon his career as a professional leg-breaker and pursue a life of quiet moments and generous helpings of banana pudding in the company of his new, sensuous lover. His erstwhile boss, local kingpin Ananias Goode, is also thinking about slowing down—but his tempestuous affair with Dr. Artinces Noel, a prominent pediatrician, complicates his retirement plans. Meanwhile, Charlotte Divine, the doctor’s headstrong protégée, struggles with trials of her own.
With prose that's sharp, humorous, and poetic, Asim skillfully renders a compelling portrait of urban life in the wake of the last major civil-rights bill. Massive change is afoot in America, and these characters have front-row seats.
Centuries ago, the great kingdom of Samhia dominated the north of Africa. Tareq Samhizzan, next in line to the throne, was glad to find Jem'ya Okobi, a gifted healer living on the coast, after months of searching for relief from his chronic pain. For a year, the troubled Arab prince hid his identity and suppressed his feelings for the dark-skinned beauty. When Tareq and his warriors fall into an unplanned battle with her tribe in Middle Africa, she learns the disturbing truth: The patient Jem'ya has fallen for is a murderous warrior and the son of an infamous king. The tragic battle spins Jem'ya away from him in a storm of grief and rage, while Tareq is driven toward Jem'ya, desperate for forgiveness from the woman he realizes has total possession of his heart. In this passionate, captivating tale, resentment, loss, pride and obsession threaten to divide the healer and the prince forever, but they will only find peace in each other.
Leading a small army of slaves, Nat Turner was a man born with a mission: to set the captives free. When words failed, he ignited an uprising that left over fifty whites dead. In the predawn hours of August 22, 1831, Nat Turner stormed into history with a Bible in one hand, brandishing a sword in the other. His rebellion shined a national spotlight on slavery and the state of Virginia and divided a nation’s trust. Turner himself became a lightning rod for abolitionists like Harriet Beecher Stowe and a terror and secret shame for slave owners.
In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1: The Witnesses, Nat Turner’s story is revealed through the eyes and minds of slaves and masters, friends and foes. In their words is the truth of the mystery and conspiracy of Nat Turner’s life, death, and confession.
The Resurrection of Nat Turner spans more than sixty years, sweeping from the majestic highlands of Ethiopia to the towns of Cross Keys and Jerusalem in Southampton County. Using extensive research, Sharon Ewell Foster breaks hallowed ground in this epic novel, revealing long-buried secrets about this tragic hero.
The Confessions of Nat Turner is William Styron’s complex and richly drawn imagining of Nat Turner, the leader of the 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia that led to the deaths of almost sixty men, women, and children. Published at the height of the civil rights movement, the novel draws upon the historical Nat Turner’s confession to his attorney, made as he awaited execution in a Virginia jail. This powerful narrative, steeped in the brutal and tragic history of American slavery, reveals a Turner who is neither a hero nor a demon, but rather a man driven to exact vengeance for the centuries of injustice inflicted upon his people.Nat Turner is a galvanizing portrayal of the crushing institution of slavery, and Styron’s deeply layered characterization is a stunning rendering of one man’s violent struggle against oppression. This ebook features a new illustrated biography of William Styron, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Styron family and the Duke University Archives.
In 1749 in Sierra Leone, a woman of fierce dignity is captured and forced onto a slave ship. On the harrowing voyage to the Americas, she is beaten for her unrelenting will and staunch pride. When she arrives, she gives birth to a daughter who is called Sapphire because of the "black-blue-black" complexion she shares with her mother. Sapphire has also inherited her mother's strength and defiant spirit, and despite a life of poverty and opression, she grows up to mother several daughters of her own. Even when tragedy strikes and part of Sapphire dies, her strength gives rise to a legend that will sustain the women who follow her, "each carrying something of her mother, her grandmother, her aunts; each passing on to her own daughters blessing and cursing, the consequences of her own choosing.
Through the lives of Sapphire and her descendants, Hilda Gurley-Highgate not only creates a poignant and engrossing saga of black women in America, she brilliantly illuminates the meaning of roots and the links between women and their female ancestors, a tie that often appears tenuous, undefined, and distant, but is strong, palpable, and much closer than we imagine. Written in luminous prose, SAPPHIRE'S GRAVE is an astonishing work by an author poised to take the literary world by storm.
From the Hardcover edition.
Hiding during the day and running through the night, Jonah must elude the men sent to capture him and the bounty hunters out to claim the reward on his head. There is one person, however, who, once on his trail, never lets him fully out of sight: Angel, herself a slave, yet with a remarkably free spirit.
In Jonah, she sees her own way to freedom, and so sets out to follow him.
Bristling with breathtaking adventure, Chasing the North Star is deftly grounded in historical fact yet always gripping and poignant as the story follows Jonah and Angel through the close calls and narrow escapes of a fearsome world. It is a celebration of the power of the human spirit to persevere in the face of great adversity. And it is Robert Morgan at his considerable best.
A self-proclaimed “gay negro” from New Orleans, Clifford Pepperidge made his name in the smoky nightclubs of Harlem in the 1920s, playing piano alongside Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, and other jazz greats. A decade later, he thrills crowds nightly in the cabarets of Weimar Berlin. But dark days are on the horizon as the Nazi Party rises to power.
Arrested by Hitler’s Gestapo during a roundup of homosexuals, Clifford finds himself placed in “protective custody” and transported to a concentration camp. Stripped of his dignity and his identity, and plunged into a nightmare of forced labor, starvation, and abuse, he seeks escape in his music. When a camp SS officer and jazz aficionado recognizes Clifford, the gentle musician learns just how far a desperate man will go in order to survive.
Shining a light on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust, Clifford’s Blues is a disturbing portrait of a dark era in world history and a poignant celebration of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of music.
Sylvia, the cook and confidant of her former mistress, hungers in silent desperation for a life with her sons who were sold years ago and for her husband who sleeps beside her filled with fury in his fists.
The resounding news marks the lawful end of slavery for Blacks, yet, on a neighboring plantation, they do not scatter and run, they do not gather up their children and move their free limbs in a joyous, gallant departure. Instead, they are trepidatious not eager, frightened not doughty. The deaths of Blacks brave enough to leave the plantation behind have their legs stiff with fear as they watch their neighbors kick up dust pulling their belongings behind them. There, with sharp eyes and long ears resides First Lady, a black slave and the Master’s mistress, who lives in luxury and exploits her position among the other slaves. When the comforts of her life begin to dwindle, frenzied and despondent, she strives to maintain the past.
In Mercy, secrets hide in sluggish water and misfortune roams upright, and without restraint. When freedom rings, each woman finds she is a prisoner grappling for some of it. Within their journeys, they discover the passageway to freedom resides within and always will.
One Night in Mississippi is the story of a young activist named Graden Williams, who was brutally murdered in Mississippi during the sixties. After the perpetrators were charged but quickly released, Graden’s brother, Warren, drifted aimlessly for decades, estranged from the rest of his family and struggling with guilt over his brother’s death. But when the U.S. Justice Department begins re-opening cases like Graden’s more than forty years later, he dedicates himself to bringing Graden’s killers to justice.
A phoned-in tip after a television appearance leads Warren to a remote town in northern Ontario, where he meets Earl Olsen, the only murderer still at large, who turns out to be very different than what Warren had expected.
WARNING: This 6,213-word tale is a steamy read that features passionate interracial lovemaking by a beautiful black woman and a handsome white man in a historical setting and may be too much for some readers to handle!
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and Finalist for the National Book Award
Brilliant but troubled historian John Washington has left Philadelphia, where he is employed by a major university, to return to his hometown of Chaneysville, just north of the Mason-Dixon Line. He is there to care for Old Jack, one of the men who helped raise him when he was growing up on the Hill, an old black neighborhood in the little Pennsylvania town—but he also wants to learn more about the death of his father.
What he discovers is that his father, Moses Washington, who was supposedly illiterate, left behind extensive notes on a mystery he was researching: why thirteen escaped slaves reached freedom in Chaneysville only to die there, for reasons forgotten or never known at all.
A story of personal discovery and historical revelation, The Chaneysville Incident explores the power of our pasts. Based in part on actual events, this extraordinary novel was described by the Los Angeles Times as “perhaps the most significant work by a new black male author since James Baldwin dazzled in the early ’60s with his fine fury,” and placed David Bradley in the front ranks of contemporary American authors.
The Price of a Child opens in the fall of 1855. A Virginia planter is on his way to assume a diplomatic post in Nicaragua, accompanied by his cook, Ginnie, and two of her children (one of whom is his). Temporarily stranded in Philadelphia when they miss their steamboat, Ginnie makes a thrilling leap of the imagination: it is the moment she has been desperately waiting for, the moment she decides to be free. In broad daylight, under the furious gaze of her master, she walks straight out of slavery into a new life -- and into a whole new set of compromising positions. We follow Ginnie as she settles with a respectable and rambunctious black family, as she reinvents herself, christens herself Mercer Gray, dodges slave catchers, lectures far and wide in the cause of abolition, and falls in love with a man whose own ties are a formidable barrier to their happiness. And we see her agonizing all the while about the baby boy she had to leave behind on the plantation, whom she is determined to rescue.
In a remarkable feat of historical empathy, Lorene Cary has created an authentic American heroine -- a woman who finds voice for the appalling loss and bitterness of her past, and who creates within herself a new humanity and an uncompromising freedom.
From the Hardcover edition.
Duncan Smoot presides as accidental patriarch, protector of his enterprising sister, Hattie, and his two rambunctious nephews. As Dossie busies herself with cleaning, cooking, and tending the chickens at Duncan's homestead, she wonders: Could this man, her rescuer--so godlike in her eyes, so much older than she--expect her to become his helpmeet?. Tentatively, Dossie begins to put down roots--until a shocking act of violence propels her away from Russell's Knob and eventually into the mayhem of New York City's mean streets.
With the same storytelling brio that distinguished the acclaimed novels River, Cross My Heart and Stand the Storm, Breena Clarke weaves a richly dramatic story of interracial harmony in the Civil War era--and of one woman's triumph in the crucible of history.