Introducing the first volume in an exciting new annual anthology featuring the year’s most outstanding fiction by some of today’s finest African American writers.
From stories that depict black life in times gone by to those that address contemporary issues, this inaugural volume gathers the very best recent African American fiction. Created during a period of electrifying political dialogue and cultural, social, and economic change that is sure to captivate the imaginations of writers and readers for years to come, these short stories and novel excerpts explore a rich variety of subjects. But most of all, they represent exceptional artistry.
Here you’ll find work by both established names and up-and-comers, ranging from Walter Dean Myers to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mat Johnson, and Junot Díaz. They write about subjects as diverse as the complexities of black middle-class life and the challenges of interracial relationships, a modern-day lynching in the South and a young musician’s coming-of-age during the Harlem Renaissance. What unites these stories, whether set in suburbia, in eighteenth-century New York City, or on a Caribbean island that is supposed to be “brown skin paradise,” is their creators’ passionate engagement with matters of the human heart.
Masterful and engaging, this first volume of Best African American Fiction features stories you’ll want to savor, share, and return to again and again.
Please click the "Behind the Book" link for contributor’s bios.
About the Author
E. Lynn Harris is a nine-time New York Times bestselling author. His work includes the memoir What Becomes of the Brokenhearted and the novels, A Love of My Own, Just as I Am, Any Way the Wind Blows (all three of which were named Novel of the Year by the Blackboard African American Bestsellers), I Say a Little Prayer, If This World Were Mine (which won the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence), and the classic Invisible Life. His latest book is Just Too Good to Be True.
Gerald Early is a noted essayist and American culture critic. A professor of English, African & African American Studies, and American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Early is the author of several books, including The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s. He is also editor of numerous volumes, including The Muhammad Ali Reader and The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader. He served as a consultant on four of Ken Burns’s documentary films, Baseball, Jazz, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, and The War, and appeared in the first three as an on-air analyst.
Praise for Best African American Fiction: 2009…
“A treasure trove of discovery…Readers across racial lines will find reason for delight in this debut of what is intended as an annual series.”—Kirkus
“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…With something for every reader’s taste, this is a collection not to be missed.”—Publishers Weekly
“This engaging collection…shows the incredible range of talent and focus of fiction written by African Americans."—Booklist
"These short stories, excerpts from novels, and thoughtful essays cover a broad range of subjects, experiences and perspectives from many of the best writers working today."—Sacramento Bee