This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward–with hope and pain–into the future. This title is also available as eAudio or eBook on Hoopla, and as eBook or eAudio on Overdrive.
As our community—and our country—continues to grapple with the impact of systemic racism, stories that reflect, amplify and clarify our concerns may enable us to imagine and create a better future.
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Another Brooklyn is a touching coming of age story, written in a poetic, stream of consciousness style centered around 4 young African-American female friends. This compact narrative is filled with love, heartbreak and hope, as the four women navigate their lives in Brooklyn, NY during the 1970’s. This title is also available on Hooplaas an eBook and as eAudio.
Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights-era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook or on Overdrive/Libby as an eBook.
Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop. Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity. This searing and heartwrenching portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society’s ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice. This title is also available as an eBook on Hoopla and as an eBook on Libby/Overdrive.
Here are Nigerian women at home and transplanted to the United States, building lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, the struggle to stay and the mandate to leave, the burden and strength of love. Here are characters faced with dangerous decisions, children slick with oil from the river, a woman in love with another despite the penalties. Here is a world marked by electricity outages, lush landscapes, folktales, buses that break down and never start up again. Here is a portrait of Nigerians that is surprising, shocking, heartrending, loving, and across social strata, dealing in every kind of change. Here are stories filled with language to make your eyes pause and your throat catch. Happiness, Like Water introduces a true talent, a young writer with a beautiful heart and a capacious imagination. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook or on Overdrive/Libby as an eBook .
In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston–the sole black student at the college–was living in New York, “desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.” During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook or as eAudio, or on Libby/Overdrive as an eBook or eAudio.
Meridian Hill is a young woman at an Atlanta college attempting to find her place in the revolution for racial and social equality. She discovers the limits beyond which she will not go for the cause, but despite her decision not to follow the path of some of her peers, she makes significant sacrifices in order to further her beliefs. Working in a campaign to register African American voters, Meridian cares broadly and deeply for the people she visits, and, while her coworkers quit and move to comfortable homes, she continues to work in the deep South despite a paralyzing illness. Meridian’s nonviolent methods, though seemingly less radical than the methods of others, prove to be an effective means of furthering her beliefs. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook or on Libby/Overdrive as an eBook.
Set in the summer of 1968, a provocative and devastating novel of individual lives caught in the grips of violent history–a timely and poignant story that reverberates with the power of Alice Walker’s Meridian and Ntozake Shange’s Betsey Browne. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook, or on Libby/Overdrive as eAudio or eBook.
Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s in St. Louis, Octavian Munroe and Mina Rose found a future in music. Between the stacks at Rahsaan’s Records, the two fell in love to the sounds of Prince and A Tribe Called Quest. But in the wake of grief and heartbreak, they drifted apart, ultimately leaving the city for fresh starts. Decades later, Rahsaan’s Records is closing for good. Seeking closure of their own, Octavian and Mina travel homeward, reckoning with the ghosts of the past they left behind and the uncertain future they must create. Insightful and nostalgic, this is a wise novel of love, loss, and the power of community, backed by a phenomenal soundtrack of hip hop, soul, and jazz. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook
Three-Fifths is about a biracial black man, passing for white, who is forced to confront the lies of his past while facing the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime. A story of secrets, identity, violence and obsession with a tragic conclusion that leaves all involved questioning the measure of a man, and inspired by the author’s own experiences with identity as a biracial man during his time as a student in Pittsburgh amidst the simmering racial tension produced by the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid-nineties.
Antonio and Natasha’s world is turned upside down, and their young love is put to the test, when Antonio finds himself in jail, accused of a shocking crime. Antonio fights to stay alive on the inside, while on the outside, Natasha faces choices that will change her life. Over the course of a decade, they share a desperate correspondence. Often, they have only each other to turn to as life takes them down separate paths and leaves them wondering if they will ever find their way back together. This title is also available on Hoopla as eAudio.
Humorous, poignant, perceptive, and full of grace, Kathleen Collins’s stories masterfully blend the quotidian and the profound in a personal, intimate way, exploring deep, far-reaching issues–race, gender, family, and sexuality–that shape the ordinary moments in our lives. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook or eAudio, and on Libby/Overdrive as an eBook or eAudio.