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248 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Planetwalker
22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence.
Written by John Francis, Ph.D.


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: National Geographic
On Sale: April 21, 2009
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4262-0405-0 (1-4262-0405-1)

2008 Freshman English Common Reading Selection for University of South Carolina Upstate

When the struggle to save oil-soaked birds and restore blackened beaches left him feeling frustrated and helpless, John Francis decided to take a more fundamental and personal stand—he stopped using all forms of motorized transportation. Soon after embarking on this... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Waking from the Dream

Edited by Sam Fulwood, III


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: May 19, 1997
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-47823-6 (0-385-47823-2)

Sam Fulwood was an integration baby. He came of age during the post-civil rights era, a time when middle-class blacks--many carrying the scars of segregation and the struggles of the movement--wholeheartedly embraced a belief in the unlimited possibilities available to the new generation. The son of educated, prosperous parents, Fulwood shared... Read more >

Exam Copy
Bloodline
Five Stories
Written by Ernest J. Gaines


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 28, 1997
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-78165-3 (0-679-78165-X)

In these five stories, Gaines returns to the cane fields, sharecroppers' shacks, and decaying plantation houses of Louisiana, the terrain of his great novels A Gathering of Old Men and A Lesson Before Dying. As rendered by Gaines, this country becomes as familiar, and as haunted by cruelty, suffering, and courage... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
In My Father's House

Written by Ernest J. Gaines


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 30, 1992
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-72791-0 (0-679-72791-4)

This is the compelling novel of a man brought to reckon with his buried past. In a small rural black community in Louisiana, Rev. Phillip Martin comes face to face with the sins of his youth in Robert X, a young sinister stranger who arrives in town for a mysterious meeting... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Lesson Before Dying
A Novel
Written by Ernest J. Gaines


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 28, 1997
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-70270-9 (0-375-70270-9)

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

A Lesson Before Dying, set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, is about the bond forged between two men--Jefferson, convicted of murder and sentenced to die; and Grant Wiggins, a college graduate returning to his hometown to teach... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audio CD, eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Mozart and Leadbelly

Written by Ernest J. Gaines


Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 17, 2006
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-9645-9 (1-4000-9645-6)

In this collection of stories and essays, the beloved author of the classic, best-selling novel A Lesson Before Dying shares the inspirations behind his books and his reasons for becoming a writer. Told in the simple and powerful prose that is a hallmark of his craft, these writings by Ernest J... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Of Love and Dust

Written by Ernest J. Gaines


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: May 31, 1994
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-75248-6 (0-679-75248-X)

This is the story of Marcus: bonded out of jail where he has been awaiting trial for murder, he is sent to the Hebert plantation to work in the fields. There he encounters conflict with the overseer, Sidney Bonbon, and a tale of revenge, lust and power plays out between Marcus... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Three Classic African-American Novels
Clotel, Iola Leary, The Marrow of Tradition
Written by William W. Brown, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Charles Chesnutt
Edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Format: Trade Paperback, 768 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: August 11, 1990
Price: $21.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-72742-2 (0-679-72742-6)

Originally published between 1853 and 1901, these three novels represent the beginnings of the black literary tradition in the United States. They have now been collected in one volume for the first time, edited and with and introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Clotel, or The President's Daughter by William Wells Brown... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Middle Sister
A Novel
Written by Bonnie Glover


Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: One World/Ballantine
On Sale: May 31, 2005
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-0-345-48090-3 (0-345-48090-2)

“As Kwai Chang moved through the arid desert of the American West, I would move through the equally desolate ghettos of Brooklyn, and we would each search: he for his family and I for my father. . . .”

The middle of three sisters, Pamela is a quiet, thoughtful girl with a... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
And Do Remember Me

Written by Marita Golden


Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Ballantine Books
On Sale: July 19, 1994
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-345-38271-9 (0-345-38271-4)

Critically acclaimed novelist, Marita Golden, explores passion, politics, and sisterhood in this rich and poignant tale of the intimate friendship between two courageous African-American women, from 1963 freedom summer to today.

Two very different African-American women meet, each to discover in the other an elegant completion of herself. Jessie, running from... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Wild Women Don't Wear No Blues

Written by Marita Golden


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: July 1, 1994
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-42401-1 (0-385-42401-9)

Bringing together fourteen African-American women, Marita Golden has compiled saucy and spicy essays that serve as an exploration into the contemporary black female psyche. Ranging in style from Audre Lorde's classic polemic on eroticism to Miriam DeCosta Willis's deeply moving essay on her husband's last years, "every single one of these... Read more >

Exam Copy
Reading Jazz
A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now
Edited by Robert Gottlieb


Format: Trade Paperback, 1088 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 26, 1999
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-78111-0 (0-679-78111-0)

Including over 100 selections and 1,000 pages, Reading Jazz is indispensable for anyone interested in jazz and its world. While no single volume can contain everything written about any significant subject, this book does manage to encompass a vast array of jazz figures, veiw points, events, and criticism. As the book's... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Keepers of the House

Written by Shirley Ann Grau


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 11, 2003
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3074-3 (1-4000-3074-9)

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, The Keepers of the House is Shirley Ann Grau’s masterwork, a many-layered indictment of racism and rage that is as terrifying as it is wise.

Entrenched on the same land since the early 1800s, the Howlands have, for seven generations, been pillars of their Southern... Read more >

Exam Copy
Bombingham

Written by Anthony Grooms


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: One World/Ballantine
On Sale: October 1, 2002
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-345-45293-1 (0-345-45293-3)

Selected for Common Reading at
Alabama A&M University
Claflin University
Florida A&M University
Milwaukee University
Otterbein College
SUNY Oswego


From the war-torn rice fields of Vietnam to the riot-filled streets of Birmingham, Alabama, Bombingham is the affecting story of a middle-class black family shattered by its personal chaos. As young African-American Walter Burke struggles to make sense of... Read more >

Exam Copy
Les Blancs: The Collected Last Plays
The Drinking Gourd/What Use Are Flowers?
Written by Lorraine Hansberry


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: December 13, 1994
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-75532-6 (0-679-75532-2)

Before her death at age thirty-four, Lorraine Hansberry revolutionized American drama with plays that presented the black experience directly, unapologetically, and often with anger. Her work shook the complacency of white audiences even as it laid the ground for subsequent debates about racism, feminism, and African-American struggles for self-determination. In Les... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Raisin in the Sun and The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window

Written by Lorraine Hansberry


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 13, 1995
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-75531-9 (0-679-75531-4)

By the time of her death at age thirty-four, Lorraine Hansberry had created two electrifying masterpieces of the American theater. With A Raisin in the Sun she gave this country its most movingly authentic portrayal of black family life in the inner city. Barely five years later, with The Sign in... Read more >

Exam Copy
A Raisin in the Sun

Written by Lorraine Hansberry


Format: Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 29, 2004
Price: $7.50
ISBN: 978-0-679-75533-3 (0-679-75533-0)

When it was first produced in 1959 A Raisin in the Sun was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and hailed as a watershed in American drama. Not only was it a pioneering work by an African-American playwright--Hansberry's play was also a radically new representation of black life, one... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
To Be Young, Gifted and Black

Written by Lorraine Hansberry


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 3, 1996
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-76415-1 (0-679-76415-1)

This new edition of To Be Young, Gifted and Black includes a new Preface by Jewell Handy Gresham Nemiroff and James Baldwin's Introduction to the first edition. Assembled from Hansberry's plays, essays, letters, drawings, and photographs, To Be Young, Gifted and Black records a life of passionate engagement and spectacular accomplishment... Read more >

Exam Copy
Best African American Fiction
2009
Edited by E. Lynn Harris and Gerald Early


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Bantam
On Sale: January 13, 2009
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-553-38534-2 (0-553-38534-8)

"There hasn't been an anthology of such talented African-American literary figures since Marita Golden's Gumbo, and the result is a masterful bouquet of literary flowers, some grand, some subtle, but none shrinking."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Introducing the first volume in an exciting new annual anthology featuring the year’s most outstanding fiction by... Read more >

Exam Copy
Gumbo
A Celebration of African American Writing
Written by E. Lynn Harris and Marita Golden


Format: Trade Paperback, 828 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: December 3, 2002
Price: $32.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1041-5 (0-7679-1041-9)

The 2003 Nonfiction Honor Book, presented by The Black Caucus of ALA

Not since Terry McMillan's Breaking Ice have so many African-American writers been brought together in one volume. Edited by Marita Golden and E. Lynn Harris, Gumbo brings together a broad spectrum of writers of new and previously published stories of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Love of My Own

Written by E. Lynn Harris


Format: Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: June 24, 2003
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-49271-3 (0-385-49271-5)

After Zola Denise Norwood meets media mogul Davis Vincent McClinton on a New York-bound flight, he makes her a couple of offers before they even land. One is editing his hot new urban style magazine Bling Bling. The other is more personal. As Zola and Raymond Tyler, Jr, Bling Bling’s CEO... Read more >

Exam Copy
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
A Memoir
Written by E. Lynn Harris


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: July 13, 2004
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-49506-6 (0-385-49506-4)

For almost a decade, beloved storyteller E. Lynn Harris has welcomed you into his family with his passionate, warm and trail-blazing novels. Now, he invites you into the most intimate world ever—his own.

Since his first book Invisible Life was published in the early 1990s, New York Times bestselling author E. Lynn... Read more >

Exam Copy
Sapphire's Grave

Written by Hilda Gurley Highgate


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: December 23, 2003
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-0883-2 (0-7679-0883-X)

The debut of a major new talent, Sapphire's Grave tells the stories of several generations of African-American women, bringing their spirit and their sorrow to life with a power, sensitivity, and immediacy.

In 1749 in Sierra Leone, a woman of fierce dignity is captured and forced onto a slave ship. On the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Love and Fury
A Memoir
Written by Richard Hoffman


Format: Hardcover, 224 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: June 3, 2014
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-0-8070-4471-1 (0-8070-4471-7)

Richard Hoffman sometimes felt as though he had two fathers: the real one who raised him and an imaginary version, one he talked to on the phone, and one he talked to in his head. Although Hoffman was always close to the man, his father remained a mystery, shrouded in a... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

Written by Langston Hughes
Edited by Arnold Rampersad


Format: Trade Paperback, 736 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 31, 1995
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-76408-3 (0-679-76408-9)

Spanning five decades and comprising 868 poems (nearly 300 of which have never before appeared in book form), this magnificent volume is the definitive sampling of a writer who has been called the poet laureate of African America--and perhaps our greatest popular poet since Walt Whitman. Here, for the first time... Read more >
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