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20th Century Southern Literature Reading List

New The Best of African-American Literature
This extensive list was complied by FOSL volunteer Debbie Battiste.

Classic Literary Fiction   Mystery/Suspense   Christian/Inspirational   Historical/ Biography
Horror/Science Fiction/Thriller   Playwrights   Poets   Romance   Young Adult
Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Other Recommended Reading Lists

Classic Literary Fiction    <return to top>

Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart
Arrow of God
Girls at War
Home and Exile

Tina McElroy Ansa
Ugly Ways
Baby of the Family
The Hand I Fan With

James Baldwin
Just Above my Head
Go Tell it on the Mountains
The Fire Next Time

Toni Cade Bambara
Those Bones are not my Child
The Salt Eaters

Angela Benson
Abiding Hope
A Family Wedding
Second Chance Dad

Venise Berry
So Good
Colored Sugar Water

David Bradley
The Chaneysville Incident
No Place to Hide

Connie Brisco
P. G. County
Can't Get Enough
A Long Way from Home
You Only Get Better
Big Girls Don't Cry

Anita Bunkley
Silent Wager
Balancing Act
Starlight Passage

Bebe Moore Campbell
Brothers and Sisters
72 Hour Hold
What You Owe Me

Roslyn Carrington
A Thirst for Rain
Candy Don't Come in Gray
Wild Rain

Stephen Carter
The Emperor of Ocean Park
New England White

Samuel Charters
Louisiana Black
To This Place

Breena Clarke
River, Cross my Heart

Pearl Cleage
I Wish I had a Red Dress
Babylon Sisters
Baby Brother's Blues

J. California Cooper
Wild Stars Seeking Midnight Suns
A Piece of Mine

Fred D'Aguiar
The Longest Memory
Feeding the Ghost

Edwidge Danticat
The Dew Breaker
Breath, Eyes, Memory
The Farming of Bones
Behind the Mountains
Brother, I'm Dying

Thulani Davis
Playing the Changes
Everybody's Ruby

Ralph Ellison
Invisible Man

Buchi Emecheta
The Bride Price
The New Tribe

Arthur Flowers
Another Good Loving Blues
De Mojo Blues

Ernest J. Gaines
A Lesson Before Dying
A Gathering of Old Men
The Autobiograpy of Miss Jane Pittman
Catherine Cormier

Vivian Glover
The First Fig Tree

Marita Golden
A Woman's Place
And Do Remember Me
Long Distance Life

E. Lynn Harris
Invisible Life
This Too Shall Pass

Ernest Hill
A Person of Interest
Cry Me a River
A Life for a Life
Satisfied with Nothin'
It's all About the Moon When the Sun Ain't Shining

Zora Neal Hurston
Their Eyes were Watching God

Brian Keith Jackson
Walking Through Mirrors
The Queen of Harlem
The View from Here

Margaret Johnson-Hodge
Journey to Here
Warm Hands
Some Sunday

Edward P. Jones
The Known World
All Aunt Hagar's Children

Tayari Jones
Leaving Atlanta
The Untelling

Randall Kenan
Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
Fire This Time
A Visitation of Spirits

Jamaica Kincaid
My Brother
Mr. Potter

Kristin Hunter Lattany
Do Unto Others
Breaking Away

Andrea Lee
Sarah Phillips
Lost Hearts in Italy
Interesting Women

Julius Lester
And all Our Wounds Forgiven
Day of Tears
Pharaoh's Daughter
Time's Memory
This Strange New Feeling

Clarence Major
One Flesh
Come by Here
Necessary Distance
Waiting for Sweet Betty

James McBride
The Color of Water
Miracle at St. Ann's

Bernice McFadden
The Warmest December
Camilla's Roses
Nowhere is a Place

Diane McKinney Whetstone
Leaving Cecil Street
Blues Dancing

Reginal McKnight
He Sleeps
White Boys
I Get on the Bus

Rosalyn McMillan
This Side of Eternity
One Better

Terry McMillan
The Interruption of Everything
A Day Late and a Dollar Short
Waiting to Exhale
Disappearing Acts

Mary Monroe
God Don't Like Ugly
The Upper Room
God Still Don't Like Ugly

Selena Montgomery
Never Tell

Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eyes
Tar Baby

Gloria Naylor
Brewster Place
Mama Day
Bailey's Cafe

Ben Okri
Songs of Enchantment

Gordon Parks
The Learning Tree
A Hungry Heart

Betty Olgesby Payne
Shine Annie

George Pelecanos
The Night Gardener
Hard Revolution

Dori Sanders
Her Own Place

Charlotte Watson Sherman
Killing Color
One Dark Body

Latita Tademy
Cane River
Red River

Brent Wade
Company Man

Alice Walker
The Color Purple
By the Light of my Father's Smile
The Temple of my Familiar

Dorothy West
The Living is Easy

Richard Wright
Native Son
Black Boy

Frank Yerby
The Dahomean
The Old God Laugh
An Odor of Sanctity

Shay Youngblood
Soul Kiss
Black Girl in Paris

Mystery/Suspense   <return to top>

Sterling Anthony
Cookie Cutter

Nikki Baker
In the Game
Ultimate Exit Strategy
Long Good Byes
Lavender House Murder

Karen Grigsby Bates
Plain Brown Wrapper
Chosen People

Eleanor Taylor Bland
Suddenly a Stranger
Fatal Remains
A Dark and Deadly Deception
Windy City Dying

Charlotte Carter
Voices from the Past
Cog Au Vin
Walking Bones

Christopher Chambers
Sympathy for the Devil
A Prayer for Deliverance

Evelyn Coleman
What a Woman's Gotta Do

Christopher Darden
In Contempt

Nora Deloach
Mama Stalks the Past
Mama Rocks the Empty Cradle
Mama Saves a Victim
Mama Stands Accused
Mama Cracks a Mask of Innocence

Grace F. Edwards
If I should Die
A Toast Before Dying
Do or Die

Barbara Fleming
Murder on the Gold Coast
Hot Stones: Cold Death

Robert O. Greer
The Fourth Perspective
Limited Time

Gary Hardwick
Double Dead
The Executioner's Game
Supreme Justice

Gar Anthony Hayward
Going Nowhere Fast
When Last Seen
All the Lucky Ones are Dead

Chester Himes
The Heat's On
If He Hollers Let Him Go
The Big Gold Dream

Hugh Holton
Time of the Assassins
Devil's Shadow
Criminal Element

Terris McMahan
Blood Will Tell
Somebody Else's Child
Other Duties as Required

Penny Mickelbury
Where to Choose
Two Graves Dug
Night Songs
Keeping Secrets

Walter Mosely
Devil in a Blue Dress
Cinnamon Kiss
The Man in my Basement
White Butterfly
A Little Yellow Dog

Marc Olden
The Ghost
Fear's Justice
Sword of Revenge

Gary Phillips
The Perpetrators
Violent Spring

James Sallis
Long-Legged Fly
Salt River
Black Hornet

Pamela Thomas-Graham
Blue Blood
Orange Crushed
A Darker Shade of Crimson

Blair S. Walker
Up Jumped the Devil
Hidden in Plain View

Valerie Wilson-Wesley
Dying in the Dark
Devil's Gonna Get Him
No Hiding Place

Darryl Wimberley
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Tinker's Dream
The King of Colored Town
Dead Man's Bay

Chassie West
Killer Riches
Killing Kin
Killer Chameleon

Franklin White
Money for Good
Fed Up With Fanny

Paula Woods
Dirty Laundry
Inner City Blues
Strange Bedfellows

Christian/Inspirational     <return to top>

Michele Andrea Bowen
Second Sunday
Church Folk
Holy Ghost Corner

Juanita Bynum
The Threshing Floor
Walking in your Destiny

Sharon Ewell Foster
Abraham's Well
Passing by Samaria
Riding Through Shadows
Passing into Light

T. D. Jakes
Hope for Every Moment
Reposition Yourself

C. Eric Lincoln
The Road Since Freedom
The Black Experience in Religion
Coming Through the Fire

Jacqueline Thomas
The Prodigal Husband
Resolution of Love
With a Song in My Heart
Soul Journey
Blessed Assurance

Iyanla Vanzant
Everyday I Pray
The Value in the Valley
In the Meantime

Historical/ Biography     <return to top>

Cecil Brown
I, Stagolee
Journey's End

William Wells Brown
Narrative of William Well Brown

Lorene Cary
The Price of a Child
Black Ice

Barbara Chase-Riboud
Sally Hemings
President's Daughter
Echos of Lions

Charles Chesnutt
The Conjure Woman
The House Behind the Cedars

Lucille Clifton
The Book of Light
Three Wishes

W.E.B. DuBois
The Souls of Black Folk

Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Man in the Iron Mask

Chris Gardner
The Pursuit of HappYness

Alex Haley
Malcolm X

Hill Harper
Letters to a Young Brother

Leslie Haskin
Between Heaven and Ground Zero

Charles Johnson
Middle Passage
Faith and the Good Thing
Oxherding Tale

Barack Obama
Dreams From My Father
The Audacity of Hope

Sidney Poitier
The Measure of a Man
This Life

Alexander S. Pushkin
Eugene Onegin
The Captain's Daughter and Other Stories

Victoria Rowell
The Women Who Raised Me

Octavia Vivian

Horror/Science Fiction/Thriller     <return to top>

L. A. Banks
Minion: A Vampire Huntress Legend
The Awakening
The Hunted
The Wicked

Steven Barnes
Lion's Blood
Great Sky Woman
Fire Dance

Lavar Burton

Octavia Butler
Wild Seed
Parable of the Sower
Mind of My Mind

Samuel Delaney
Dark Stars
Distant Stars

Tananarive Due
My Soul to Keep
The Good House
The Between
The Living Blood

Nalo Hopkinson
Brown Girl in the Ring
Midnight Robber
The New Moon's Arms
Salt Roads
Skin Folks

Brandon Massey
Dark Corner
Within the Shadows
The Other Brother

Nichelle Nichols
Saturna's Quest
Saturn's Child

Billy Dee Williams

Playwrights    <return to top>

Vinnette Carrol
Alice Childress
Charles Fuller
Charles Gordone
Shirley Graham
Angelina Weld Grimke
Lorraine Hasberry
Ron Milner
Suzan-Lori Parks
Willis Richardson
Nozake, Shang
Wallace Thurman
August Wilson

Poets    <return to top>

Maya Angelou
Gwendolyn Bennett
Arna Bontemps
William Stanley Braiwaite
Gwendolyn Brooks
Countee Cullen
Rita Dove
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Ruth Forman
Nikki Giovanni
Langston Hughes
Georgia Douglas Johnson
James Weldon Johnson
Claude McKay
Ishmeal Reed
Jean Toomer
Margaret Walker
Phyllis Wheatley

     <return to top>

Eric Jerome Dickey
Chasing Destiny
Sister, Sister
The Other Woman

Bette Ford
Can't Say No
For Always

Gwynne Forster
Naked soul
When Twillight Come
If You Walked in My Shoes
Blues From Down Deep
Once in a Lifetime
When you Dance with the Devil

Roberta Gayle
Mad About You
Something Old, Something New
Worth Waiting For
The Girl Next Door
Sweetness and Lies

Carmen Green
Silken Love
Endless Love
Keeping Secrets

Geri Guillaume
No Greater Gift
Winter Fires
Perfect Pair
Love Runs Deep

Donna Hill
Soul to Soul
After Dark
Quiet Storm
Guilty Pleasures

Brenda Jackson
Slow Burn
Risky Pleasure
Beyond Temptation
What a Woman Wants
Perfect Fit

Beverly Jenkins
Black Lace
Wild Sweet Love
Winds of the Storm

Doris Johnson
Hello Again
Midnight Secrets
Precious Heart
Midsummer Moon

Marcia King-Gamble
Change of Heart
Designed for You
Come Back to Me

Sandra Kitt
The Color of Love
With Open Arms
Adam and Eva
The Next Best Thing
First Touch
Between Friends
Southern Comfort

Kimberla Lawson-Roby
Changing Faces
Too Much of a Good Thing
Loves and Lies

Mildred Riley
Trust in Love
No Regrets
Midnight Moon
Bad to the Bone

Mary Morrison
Soulmates Dissipate
Sweeter than Honey
Never Again Once More
He's Just a Friend

April Sinclair
Coffee Will Make You Black
Ain't Gonna be the Same Fool Twice
I Left My Back Door Open

Omar Tyree
What They Want
Single Mom
The Last Street Novel

Carl Webber
The Preacher's Son
The First Lady

Angela Winters
Never Enough
Always a Chance
Capitol Affair
View Park

Love is Never Painless
Breaking the Cycle

Young Adult     <return to top>

Sharon Draper
Forged by Fire
Tears of a Tiger

Sharon Flake
Begging for Change
Money Hungry
The Skin I'm In

Eloise Greenfield
Honey, I Love
Grandpa's Face

Rosa Guy
The Friend
My Love, My Love
The Disappearance
New Guys Around the Block

Virginia Hamilton
Plain City
The House of Dies Drear
Second Cousins
A Little Love

Joyce Hansen
The Captive
One True Friend
Home Boy

Angela Johnson
Humming Whispers
Toning the Sweep
The First Part Last
Songs of Faith

Sharon Bell Mathis
Listen for the Fig Tree
The Hundred Penny Box
Teacup Full of Roses

Stephanie Perry Moore
True Friends
Sweet Honesty
Happy Princess
Perfect Joy

Jess Mowry
Way Past Cool
Six out of Seven
Skelton Key

Walter Dean Myers
Fallen Angels
Shadow of the Red Moon

Eleanora Tate
Celeste's Harlem Renaissance
The Secret of Gumbo Grove

Mildred Taylor
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry
The Road to Memphis
Mississippi Bridge
The Well

Joyce Carol Thomas
Marked by Fire
Bright Shadow
When the Nightingale Sings
House of Light

Jacqueline Thomas
Simply Divine
Divine Confidential

Brenda Wilkinson
Definitely Cool
Ludell and Willie

Rita Williams-Garcia
No Laughter Here
Every Time a Rainbow Dies
The Jazz Flower

Jacqueline Woodson
Miracle's Boys
If You Come Softly
I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This
The House you Pass on the Way
Behind You

<return to top>



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