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203 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
The Hero And the Blues

Written by Albert Murray


Format: Trade Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: January 16, 1996
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-76220-1 (0-679-76220-5)

In this visionary book, Murray takes an audacious new look at black music and, in the process, succeeds in changing the way one reads literature. Murray's subject is the previously unacknowledged kinship between fiction and the blues. Both, he argues, are virtuoso performances that impart information, wisdom, and moral guidance to... 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
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
Haarlem
A Novel
Written by Heather Neff


Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: July 5, 2005
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1750-6 (0-7679-1750-2)

“The only thing that’ll last forever is my Thirst . . . .”

So says Abel Crofton as he explores the streets and canals of Amsterdam. A New York tunnel worker who’s struggling to stay sober after years of alcoholism, Abel is searching for the mother he’s never known. Despite having few... 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
Half and Half
Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural
Written by Claudine C. O'Hearn


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: June 9, 1998
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-375-70011-8 (0-375-70011-0)

As we approach the twenty-first century, biracialism and biculturalism are becoming increasingly common. Skin color and place of birth are no longer reliable signifiers of one's identity or origin. Simple questions like "What are you?" and "Where are you from?" aren't answered--they are discussed. These eighteen essays, joined by a shared... 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
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
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
Foreigners

Written by Caryl Phillips


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 11, 2008
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7984-1 (1-4000-7984-5)

From an acclaimed, award-winning novelist comes this brilliant hybrid of reportage, fiction, and historical fact: the stories of three black men whose tragic lives speak resoundingly to the problem of race in British society.

With his characteristic grace and forceful prose, Phillips describes the lives of three very different men: Francis Barber... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Darkest Child
A Novel
Written by Delores Phillips


Format: Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Publisher: Soho Press
On Sale: January 1, 2005
Price: $15.95
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.

Exam Copy
Here I Stand

Written by Paul Robeson


Format: Trade Paperback, 160 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: January 1, 1998
Price: $18.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-6445-0 (0-8070-6445-9)

Robeson’s international achievements as a singer and actor in starring roles on stage and screen made him the most celebrated black American of his day, but his outspoken criticism of racism in the United States, his strong support of African independence, and his fascination with the Soviet Union placed him under... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Does Your House Have Lions?

Written by Sonia Sanchez


Format: Trade Paperback, 80 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: January 28, 1998
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-6831-1 (0-8070-6831-4)

Nominated for the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry

Recommended Reading from Emerge

An epic poem on kin estranged, the death of a brother from AIDS, and the possibility of reconciliation and love in the face of loss.

“One of our more overlooked older poets, Sanchez writes concise, wounded poems that work... Read more >

Exam Copy
Morning Haiku

Written by Sonia Sanchez


Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: January 25, 2011
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-0131-8 (0-8070-0131-7)

From a leading writer of the Black Arts Movement, poems of commemoration and loss for readers of all ages

A collection of haiku that celebrates the gifts of life and mourns the deaths of revered African American figures in the worlds of music, literature, art, and activism.

“Sonia Sanchez is a... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Shake Loose My Skin
New and Selected Poems
Written by Sonia Sanchez


Format: Trade Paperback, 168 pages
Publisher: Beacon Press
On Sale: April 7, 2000
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-8070-6853-3 (0-8070-6853-5)

An extraordinary retrospective covering over thirty years of work, Shake Loose My Skin is a stunning testament to the literary, sensual, and political powers of the award-winning Sonia Sanchez.

“This world is a better place because of Sonia Sanchez: more livable, more laughable, more manageable. I wish millions of people knew that... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Push
A Novel
Written by Sapphire


Format: Trade Paperback, 192 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: April 29, 1997
Price: $13.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-76675-9 (0-679-76675-8)

Winner of the Critic's Choice Award of the American Educational Studies Association
Winner of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association First Novelist Award

In this electrifying novel, a black street girl, sixteen years old and pregnant—again—with her father’s child, speaks. In a voice that shakes us by its language, its story... Read more >
Also available as a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Fires in the Mirror

Written by Anna Deavere Smith


Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 1, 1993
Price: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-47014-8 (0-385-47014-2)

In monologues based on interviews with 26 subjects ranging from The Reverend Al Sharpton and Professor Leonard Jeffries, to Rabbi Joseph Speilman and Norman Rosenbaum (Yankel Rosenbaum's brother) to several men-and-women-on-the-street, Smith exposes and explores the black-Jewish tensions that erupted into outrage in the streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in 1991... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
House Arrest and Piano
Two Plays
Written by Anna Deavere Smith


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: April 13, 2004
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-3357-7 (1-4000-3357-8)

From the award-winning actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, two teeming, pungent cross-sections of the American experience.

In the provocative and at times bitterly funny play House Arrest, Smith examines the relationships between a succession of American presidents and their observers in and out of the press. Arcing from Clinton and Monica... Read more >
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