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247 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Sula

Written by Toni Morrison


Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 8, 2004
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3343-0 (1-4000-3343-8)

Toni Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), was acclaimed as the work of an important talent, written—as John Leonard said in The New York Times—in a prose "so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry."

Sula has the same power, the... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Tar Baby

Written by Toni Morrison


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 8, 2004
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3344-7 (1-4000-3344-6)

The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby, audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones—of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark... Read more >

Exam Copy
Little Green
An Easy Rawlins Mystery
Written by Walter Mosley


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 28, 2014
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-94978-3 (0-307-94978-8)

In Little Green, Walter Mosley’s acclaimed detective Easy Rawlins returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of that haven for Los Angeles hippies, the Sunset Strip. He’s soon back in top form, cruising the gloriously psychedelic mean streets of L.A. with his murderous sidekick, Mouse. They’ve been... Read more >

Exam Copy
Little Green
An Easy Rawlins Mystery
Written by Walter Mosley


Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
On Sale: May 14, 2013
Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-53598-4 (0-385-53598-8)

When Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of... Read more >

Exam Copy
Crossing the Danger Water
Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing
Written by Deirdre Mullane


Format: Trade Paperback, 800 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 1, 1993
Price: $22.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-42243-7 (0-385-42243-1)

This comprehensive anthology of African American writing has become a campus classic. Arranged chronologically, it contains poetry, prose, speeches, songs, documents, and letters from the pre-Colonial era through the Clarence Thomas hearings, rap music, and the L.A. riots. The selections offer a wide variety of voices and themes, and can be... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Blue Devils of Nada
A Contemporary American Approach to Aesthetic Statement
Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 24, 1997
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-75859-4 (0-679-75859-3)

Murray gives readers the redefined essence of his lifetime meditation on the blues as this musical style informs American life. Here are incisive essays on writing, music, and art that go beyond the social-science fiction of Negrohood to describe in no uncertain terms what it means to be American. Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Magic Keys

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: August 8, 2006
Price: $13.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-9553-7 (1-4000-9553-0)

The Magic Keys winningly evokes the coming to maturity of one of the great characters in contemporary American literature: Scooter, the central protagonist of Albert Murray’s highly acclaimed autobiographical novels Train Whistle Guitar, The Spyglass Tree, and The Seven League Boots.

Growing up brilliant and curious in Alabama, Scooter was told he... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Seven League Boots

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: February 4, 1997
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-75858-7 (0-679-75858-5)

In the triumphant concluding volume of the trilogy that began with Whistle Guitar and The Spyglass Tree, Albert Murray gives us what is at once an African American coming-of-age novel and a pitch-perfect evocation of a touring jazz band at the height of the Swing era. Murray's hero, Scooter, graduates from... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
South to a Very Old Place

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: September 3, 1991
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73695-0 (0-679-73695-6)

The highly acclaimed novelist and biographer Albert Murray tells his classic memoir of growing up in Alabama during the 1920s and 1930s in South to a Very Old Place. Intermingling remembrances of youth with engaging conversation, African-American folklore, and astute cultural criticism, it is at once an intimate personal journey and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Spyglass Tree

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 27, 1992
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73085-9 (0-679-73085-0)

By “our premier writer about jazz and the blues...and a fictional tale spinner in the grand Southern tradition” (Washington Post Book World), The Spyglass Tree is a deeply affecting novel of elegant, lyrical reminiscence and profound sophistication about a young black man’s advent into the world of academia—an imaginary Alabama college—in... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Proud Shoes

Written by Pauli Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: August 1, 1999
Price: $20.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-7209-7 (0-8070-7209-5)

Originally published in 1956, Pauli Murray tells the story of her grandparents, delving into the realities of slavery, survival, and miscegenation in the pre-Civil War/Reconstruction era in the South.

“A significant contribution to our understanding of the black experience in America. . . . Fascinating.” - Publishers Weekly Read more >

Exam Copy
Free
And Other Stories
Written by Anika Nailah


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: January 14, 2003
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-0838-2 (0-7679-0838-4)

In spare, elegant stories reminiscent of the writings of Harlem Renaissance writer Dorothy West, Anika Nailah illuminates the emotional, spiritual, and social realities that shape--and sometimes destroy--the lives and dreams of ordinary African Americans.

The stories in Free offer a moving, strikingly original perspective on how cultural experiences and social assumptions impact... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Nairobi Heat

Written by Mukoma Wa Ngugi


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Melville International Crime
On Sale: September 13, 2011
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-935554-64-6 (1-935554-64-6)

For fans of smart foreign crime books, an action-packed crime story in an unusual setting–Kenya–and rooted in fascinating African history

In Madison, Wisconsin, it’s a big deal when African peace activist Joshua Hakizimana–famous for saving hundreds of people from the Rwandan genocide–accepts a position at the university. Then a young girl is... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
47th Street Black
A Novel
Written by Bayo Ojikutu


Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: January 7, 2003
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-0-609-80847-4 (0-609-80847-8)

Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Coming Through Slaughter

Written by Michael Ondaatje


Format: Trade Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 19, 1996
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-76785-5 (0-679-76785-1)

Bringing to life the fabulous, colorful panorama of New Orleans in the first flush of the jazz era, this book tells the story of Buddy Bolden, the first of the great trumpet players--some say the originator of jazz--who was, in any case, the genius, the guiding spirit, and the king of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Beauty's Daughter, Monster, The Gimmick
Three Plays
Written by Dael Orlandersmith


Format: Trade Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 17, 2000
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70871-8 (0-375-70871-5)

The sheer exuberance of language that pours forth in Dael Orlandersmith's plays has dazzled critics and audiences alike. In these three pieces, the award-winning writer and performer celebrates the power of words to rescue the young black women she portrays from their constricted worlds.

In the Obie Award-winning play "Beauty's Daughter," Diane... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Learning Tree

Written by Gordon Parks


Format: Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Fawcett
On Sale: June 12, 1987
Price: $6.99
ISBN: 978-0-449-21504-3 (0-449-21504-0)

Photographer, writer, and composer, Gordon Parks has written a moving, true-to-life novel of growing up as a black man in this country in this century. Hailed by critics and readers alike, The Learning Tree tells the extraordinary journey of a family as they struggle to understand the world around them and... Read more >

Exam Copy
Voices in the Mirror
An Autobiography
Written by Gordon Parks


Format: Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: September 20, 2005
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-2212-8 (0-7679-2212-3)

Alone after his mother’s death, homeless in a Minnesota winter, young Gordon struggled to stay in school, working at menial jobs and riding streetcars all night to escape the cold. Refusing to succumb to despair, he instead transformed his anger at poverty and racism into a creative force and went on... Read more >

Exam Copy
Getting Mother's Body
A Novel
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks


Format: Trade Paperback, 280 pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
On Sale: April 13, 2004
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-6800-2 (0-8129-6800-X)

Getting Mother’s Body is the accomplished and critically-praised fiction debut from Suzan-Lori Parks, the 2002 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Billy Beede, the teenage daughter of the fast-running and six-years-dead Willa Mae, comes home one day to find a fateful letter waiting for her: Willa Mae’s burial spot in LaJunta... Read more >

Exam Copy
Dancing in the Dark

Written by Caryl Phillips


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 10, 2006
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7983-4 (1-4000-7983-7)

A searing new novel that reimagines the remarkable, tragic, little-known life of Bert Williams (1874–1922), the first black entertainer in the United States to reach the highest levels of fame and fortune.

Even as an eleven-year-old child living in Southern California in the late 1800s—his family had recently emigrated from the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A New World Order
Essays
Written by Caryl Phillips


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 30, 2002
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-71403-0 (0-375-71403-0)

The Africa of his ancestry, the Caribbean of his birth, the Britain of his upbringing, and the United States where he now lives are the focal points of award-winning writer Caryl Phillips’ profound inquiry into evolving notions of home, identity, and belonging in an increasingly international society.

At once deeply reflective and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Darkest Child
A Novel
Written by Delores Phillips


Format: Trade Paperback, 462 pages
Publisher: Soho Press
On Sale: January 1, 2005
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-1-56947-378-8 (1-56947-378-1)

Rozelle Quinn is so fair-skinned that she can pass for white. Her ten children are mostly light, too. They constitute the only world she rules and controls. Her power over them is all she has in an otherwise cruel and uncaring universe.

Rozelle favors her light-skinned kids, but Tangy Mae, 13... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Woman's Worth
A Novel
Written by Tracy Price-Thompson


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: One World/Ballantine
On Sale: October 25, 2005
Price: $12.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-75778-5 (0-375-75778-3)

**Winner, 2005 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for contemporary fiction**

Embracing the shattered pieces of the soul and championing the resilient nature of the heart, A Woman’s Worth takes readers on a journey of startling depth. From a speakeasy whorehouse in the bottoms of Alabama to a luxurious high-rise apartment in Kenya, acclaimed author... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Ralph Ellison
A Biography
Written by Arnold Rampersad


Format: Trade Paperback, 704 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 8, 2008
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-70798-8 (0-375-70798-0)

The definitive biography of one of the most important American writers and cultural intellectuals of the twentieth century—Ralph Ellison, author of the masterpiece Invisible Man.

In 1953, Ellison’s explosive story of an innocent young black man’s often surreal search for truth and his identity won him the National Book Award for fiction... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Crawfish Dreams

Written by Nancy Rawles


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: February 10, 2004
Price: $13.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-72213-1 (0-385-72213-3)

The uplifting story of a woman who cooks up a plan to bring her family back together and discovers that love, sharing, and a dash of daring are the secret ingredients that can turn dreams into reality.

Camille Broussard can remember a time when she had more pep in her stride... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.
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