The Mean Streets | African American Fiction (and More)

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While Harlem and Brooklyn have been the setting for much of urban fiction, this month’s selections extend into Newark, NJ, Detroit, and Memphis. Yet the place that really stands out is Washington, DC’s Library of Congress.

Saints and Sinners | African American Fiction (and More)

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December’s selections are tales that could have been drawn from the Bible but offer a 21st-century slant.

They Work Hard for Their Money | African American Fiction (and More)

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As authors put their characters through their paces, readers learn what these protagonists do for money. The list of jobs from this month’s selections includes credit card scam artists, a biochemist, a Navy SEAL, a construction contractor, a lawyer, and finally an owner of a strip club. Such varied résumés!

Lives, Loves, Losses: Books for Black History Month and Beyond

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Stunning memoir, fiction, poetry; thought-provoking history, political science, sociology; and fun mystery, romance, erotica to satisfy and stir readers all year round.

A Little Respect & Romance | African American Fiction (and More)

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For years Sister Souljah, the queen of urban fiction, has planted in our conscience that women should always be respected, a theme that she explores once again in her new novel.  Still there’s a place this month for Deborah Fletcher Mello’s old-fashioned romance with a serious twist that will lift readers’ emotions. It’s my pick […]

We Are Family—Sort of | African American Fiction and More

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What is family? This month’s column offers a diverse array of family units from a pimp’s stable of women to three half-sisters coming to terms with their father’s abandonment.

Other Voices, Other Views | African American Fiction and More

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Alternating narrative points of view in a book can either confuse readers or provide a different and fresh take on a given situation. In this month’s selections we hear from a frustrated teenage girl living in poverty, a ghost unhappy that his former friends are grieving, and activists protesting police brutality.

A Mother’s Fear, a Daughter’s Revenge | African American Fiction (and More)

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Moving away from standard urban fiction themes of violence and sex, established African American fiction author ReShonda Tate Billingsley tackles the hot-button topic of the police shooting of unarmed black men and teens, while Saundra’s tale of street vengeance recalls Sistah Souljah.

Secrets and Lies | African American Fiction (and More)

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Shhhhh! Wanna know a secret? Many characters in this month’s selections guard their privacy whether it’s because of shady business buried in their past or plunging into a marital affair. The gossip-worthy secrets may threaten a life or cause inner guilt, but they certainly add spice to this month’s novels by established African American authors.

From Dealin’ to Wildin’ Out | African American Fiction (and More)

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Urban fiction from drug dealing to wild and ruthless Memphis gangs. Plus a steamy erotic tale that leaves nothing uncovered.