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Share Black Stories

Share Black Stories

Literary Fiction, Memoir, & Essay Collections by Black Authors

Playlist Tags: Picture Book black authors

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The Vanishing Half

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Shayna Small
Length: 11 hours 33 minutes

The Vanishing Half

“Within the first few pages of The Vanishing Half, I knew I was reading something special. In this slow-burn novel, twins Desiree and Stella grow up in Mallard, a small black community in segregated Louisiana that prides itself on the lightness of its people’s skin. At sixteen, the twins flee from Mallard after their mother pulls them out of school to work cleaning white people’s houses, sacrificing the familiarity of home, the safety of their community, and the predictable trajectory of their lives. In New Orleans, the twins begin their new lives together, but eventually Stella takes off on her own, choosing to live the rest of her life “passing” as white; Desiree marries a dark-skinned man, has a child who looks like him, and ends up living back in Mallard. The consequences of the twins’ life choices unfold throughout the book, from the 1950s to the 1990s, and include the lives (and perspectives) of their daughters, Kennedy and Jude. The Vanishing Half is a fascinating story about family relationships, identity, and belonging, and I savored every page.”

Phinney Books image Anika, Phinney Books
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The Mothers

A Novel

By Brit Bennett
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

The Mothers

“The 'mothers' of this book's title refers to the gaggle of elderly churchgoing women who comment on the congregation around them, especially the trio of Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey. But The Mothers is about more than that -- it refers to the concept of motherhood, whether biological, lost, aborted, adoptive, or conflicted. The three young people at the heart of this story are all flawed, but their portrayals are realistic and they are easy for readers to support. This is a book about salvation -- not the spiritual salvation that the gossiping, but well-intentioned mothers seek, but the kind that comes with self-acceptance and growth. The Mothers is an honest, modern, and triumphant book.”

Women & Children First image Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First
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The Girl with the Louding Voice

A Novel

By Abi Daré
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

The Girl with the Louding Voice

“This year is overflowing with phenomenal debuts — including this one from Abi Daré. It tells the story of Adunni, a young girl in Nigeria whose dreams and ambition focus in on one thing: education. In a city where girls like her are looked down upon and considered unworthy, she comes to find that change can begin with even the smallest of voices. This story is the kind that makes you itch: you’ll ache for Adunni, bristle at the people who treat her so unjustly, and yearn for her to succeed. This is a stunning, important, and fascinating first novel.”

Lindsay Howard image Lindsay Howard, Lark and Owl Booksellers
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We Ride Upon Sticks

A Novel

By Quan Barry
Narrated by: Isabel Keating
Length: 14 hours 44 minutes

We Ride Upon Sticks

“This is such a fun romp! It has everything you could possibly want in a book: field hockey, witches, and ’80s bangs that have literally taken on a life of their own. Set in Salem in the 1980s, we follow a group of high school field hockey players as they struggle with their new dark powers and attempt to end their losing streak. One of the strangest, most satisfying books I have read in a long time!”

Hillary Smith image Hillary Smith, Copperfield's Books Calistoga
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Negroland

A Memoir

By Margo Jefferson
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac-here is a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of Margo Jefferson's rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself... Read more »

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Real Life

A Novel

By Brandon Taylor
Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes

A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award 
 
“A blistering coming of age story” —O: The Oprah Magazine


Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington... Read more »

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Heads of the Colored People

Stories

By Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
Length: 6 hours 13 minutes

A stunning new talent in literary fiction, Nafissa Thompson-Spires grapples with black identity and the contemporary middle class in these compelling, boundary-pushing vignettes.

Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous—from two mothers exchanging snide remarks through... Read more »

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Saving Ruby King

A Novel

By Catherine Adel West
Narrated by: Kim Staunton, Imani Parks, Ron Butler, Adam Lazarre-White, Lloyd Roberson II & Terra Strong Lyons
Length: 10 hours 14 minutes

Saving Ruby King

“Saving Ruby King is a slow burn—a richly woven three-generation history of two families on the south side of Chicago, bound forever by trauma and religion. A tragic murder in the present unearths secret wrongdoings of the past. Intergenerational trauma is a primary focus, and the given circumstances allow readers to both hate and empathize with nearly all of the main characters. The full cast—including the omniscient church building—narrates the audiobook beautifully. Readers will learn that the bonds of true friendship can withstand anything. Trigger warnings: domestic violence, incest, rape.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store
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The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

A Novel

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Joe Morton
Length: 14 hours 14 minutes

The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club)

“Ta-Nehisi Coates understands something big and he understands it better than anyone else right now. The Water Dancer led me on a journey up and down the landscape of American slavery with a narrative that feels like The Book of Exodus meets, well, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Over 400 pages I have cried, I have laughed, I have been educated, and I have been enlightened. Coates writes with an honesty that can only come from a sublime, even spiritual, understanding of the souls of the white man and the black man in America. Written with poignancy and humanity, The Water Dancer left me stunned but clear-headed, like I had just been woken up from a deep, dream-filled sleep.”

Norris Rettiger image Norris Rettiger, Lemuria Bookstore
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What We Lose

A Novel

By Zinzi Clemmons
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 3 hours 46 minutes

What We Lose

“What We Lose is a quietly brilliant book detailing the way loss manifests itself in the life of its narrator, Thandi, and the reader, as Clemmons' writing shines back on you, too. The death of Thandi's mother brings about the loss of childhood innocence, her connection with her past, and her identity as a black woman. Clemmons' book is told in vignettes, stories and thoughts, with the narrative of this time in Thandi's life slowly swirling through it. It's as powerful a meditation on grief as I've ever read.”

Stefanie Schmidt image Stefanie Schmidt, Water Street Books
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Red at the Bone

A Novel

By Jacqueline Woodson
Narrated by: Jacqueline Woodson, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Peter Francis James, Shayna Small & Bahni Turpin
Length: 3 hours 52 minutes

Red at the Bone

“ I thoroughly enjoyed the audio book, partially because Woodson’s writing is a joy to listen to, and partially because the different narrators helped keep the story straight. (I was talking to a co-worker who said she was having trouble with this one because she didn’t know which chapter was from which point of view — Woodson, unlike other writers, doesn’t do any favors by telling us at the outset who is narrating, instead making us do the work of figuring it out.) It was short, and to the point, and I liked listening to this one family’s story through the years.”

Watermark Books image Melissa, Watermark Books
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More Than Enough

Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)

By Elaine Welteroth
Narrated by: Elaine Welteroth & Adenrele Ojo
Length: 10 hours 30 minutes

“Elaine gifts us all with a beautifully intimate and powerful retelling of her ever-unfolding journey. In sharing her joys, pitfalls, adventures, self-doubt, and successes, she reminds us that through uncovering and discovering the many facets of ourselves, we are more than enough.”
—Yara Shahidi
 
“Elaine’s book is a call for young women to...
Read more »

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Homegoing

A novel

By Yaa Gyasi
Narrated by: Dominic Hoffman
Length: 13 hours 10 minutes

Homegoing

“Homegoing is an epic narrative that is sure to become a treasured staple. Two sisters in Ghana are marked by fiery tragedy: one is married off to an English slave trader, and the other is sold to be a slave in America. The story follows their descendants generation by generation. Homegoing will break your heart over and over, impress you with the resilience of the human spirit and the amazing power of forgiveness, and leave you optimistic and in awe.”

Bookshop Santa Cruz image Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz
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Everything Inside

Stories

By Edwidge Danticat
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 6 hours 4 minutes

From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of Brother, I'm Dying, a collection of vividly imagined stories about community, family, and love. Rich with hard-won wisdom and humanity, set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, Everything Inside is at once wide in scope and... Read more »

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Patsy

A Novel

By Nicole Dennis-Benn
Narrated by: Sharon Gordon
Length: 17 hours 9 minutes

Patsy

“I feel that Dennis-Benn is unparalleled in writing the insidious unforgivables. The mother who can't find love for her daughter, the more-than-friend who takes everything you give them and never gives back, the daughter told to be a "good girl" who finds difficulty doing either of those things for the woman who ends up raising her. Like her debut, this novel is filled with characters tormented by the compromises they made but whose character Dennis-Benn refuses to compromise. The painfully recognizable humanity of everyone in Patsy asks us all to reach inside for the empathy we're capable of for people we wouldn't normally think to give it to.”

Water Street Bookstore image Alice, Water Street Bookstore
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Gingerbread

A Novel

By Helen Oyeyemi
Narrated by: Helen Oyeyemi
Length: 7 hours 28 minutes

Gingerbread

“Helen Oyeyemi's beautiful, sweet, almost sing-song voice is the perfect narration for Gingerbread's quirky and magical story. The novel flows like a river, twisting and turning in unexpected but pleasurable ways as we explore Perdita, her mother Harriet, and the mystery of their gingerbread recipe. Taking elements from traditional folk stories and blending them perfectly with modern struggles Helen has created a bedtime story that will fill your day with magic floating just outside your vision and a pull to get back to bed to listen more!”

Books & Company image Genavieve, Books & Company
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Freshwater

By Akwaeke Emezi
Narrated by: Akwaeke Emezi
Length: 6 hours 42 minutes

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of... Read more »

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The Fire This Time

A New Generation Speaks about Race

By Jesmyn Ward
Narrated by: Cherise Boothe, Michael Early, Kevin R. Free, Korey Jackson & Susan Spain
Length: 5 hours 36 minutes

National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The... Read more »

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Sing, Unburied, Sing

A Novel

By Jesmyn Ward
Narrated by: Kelvin Harrison, Jr., Chris Chalk & Rutina Wesley
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes

Sing, Unburied, Sing

“Sing, Unburied, Sing is a dark and gorgeous song of love and heartbreak, haunting and tragic and disorienting in its timelessness. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill anchors Ward's tale to Mississippi today, which is almost indistinguishable from its notorious yesterday, a present and past (ironically) made more alive in the novel by ghosts and where everyone suffers from the cancers of buried sins. On Jojo's 13th birthday, while Mam is dying and Pop struggles to keep everyone safe, Leonie plans a road trip to the prison to pick up Michael, Jojo and baby Kayla's father. It's The Odyssey meets the Delta blues meets William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and some ineffable something that is Jesmyn Ward's own magic.”

Hudson Booksellers image Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers
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Well-Read Black Girl

Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

By Glory Edim
Narrated by: Glory Edim
Length: 5 hours 6 minutes

An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature.

Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of... Read more »

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