8 Amazing Books of Short Stories

In honor of Black history month, we have decided to compile some book lists. The lists will be made up of literature written by authors from the African Diaspora. This first list features books of short stories. Enjoy!

before

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

by Danielle Evans

In each of her stories, Danielle Evans explores the non-white American experience with honesty, wisdom, and humor. They are striking in their emotional immediacy, based in a world where inequality is a reality, but the insecurities of young adulthood and tensions within family are often the more complicating factors. -Goodreads

thathing

The Thing Around Your Neck

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. The Thing Around Your Neck is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers. -Goodreads

krik

Krik? Krak!

by Edwidge Danticat

When Haitians tell a story, they say “Krik?” and the eager listeners answer “Krak!” In Krik? Krak! Danticat establishes herself as the latest heir to that narrative tradition with nine stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. They tell of women who continue loving behind prison walls and in the face of unfathomable loss; of a people who resist the brutality of their rulers through the powers of imagination. The result is a collection that enrages, saddens, and transports the reader with its sheer beauty. -Goodreads

lost

Lost in the City

by Edward P. Jones

Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short-listed for the National Book Award. These fourteen stories are set in 20th Century DC and follow the lives of African-Americans as they find their way in the city.

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What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

by Helen Oyeyemi

Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation? -Goodreads

gorilla

Gorilla, My Love

by Toni Cade Bambara

In these fifteen superb stories, written in a style at once ineffable and immediately recognizable, Toni Cade Bambara gives us compelling portraits of a wide range of unforgettable characters, from sassy children to cunning old men, in scenes shifting between uptown New York and rural North Carolina. A young girl suffers her first betrayal. A widow flirts with an elderly blind man against the wishes of her grown-up children. A neighborhood loan shark teaches o white social worker a lesson in responsibility. And there is more. Sharing the world of Toni Cade Bambara’s “straight-up fiction” is a stunning experience. -Goodreads

leper

How To Escape A Leper County

by Tiphanie Yanique

Lyrical, lush, and haunting, the prose shimmers in this nuanced debut, set mostly in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Part oral history, part postcolonial narrative, How to Escape from a Leper Colony is ultimately a loving portrait of a wholly unique place. Like Gabriel García Márquez, Edwidge Danticat, and Maryse Condé before her, Tiphanie Yanique has crafted a book that is heartbreaking, hilarious, magical, and mesmerizing. An unforgettable collection. -Goodreads

drown

Drown

by Junot Diaz

With ten stories that move from the barrios of the Dominican Republic to the struggling urban communities of New Jersey, Junot Diaz makes his remarkable debut. Diaz’s work is unflinching and strong, and these stories crackle with an electric sense of discovery. Diaz evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devastating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty. In Drown, Diaz has harnessed the rhythms of anger and release, frustration and joy, to indelible effect.-Goodreads


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