Brit Bennett recommendsBy Dialogue Publishing
"I wanted to shout out several recent releases that have captivated me, as well as recognise some longtime favourites. From debuts to classics, these books all explore identity, family, and art." Brit Bennett, 2021
Toni Morrison£9.99 £9.49
I first read Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison when I was studying abroad in the UK, so this book found me when I was beginning to think, more deeply than ever, about what it means to be both Black and American. This is a story about a search for hidden gold that, instead, uncovers a hidden family history. It’s a perfect novel.
Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation
Anna Malaika Tubbs£18.99 £18.04
A fascinating exploration into the lives of three women ignored by history, the mothers of Martin Luther King Jr, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X. By tracing the intellectual, political, and emotional strands of each woman’s life, Anna Malaika Tubbs uncovers hidden complexities within Black motherhood that illuminate our understanding of the past while also shedding light on the overlooked contributions of Black women today.
Tayari Jones£8.99 £8.54
This book is one of my go-to recommendations to friends and family looking for something to read. It’s a story about a complicated family centering on two half-sisters, one who knows the other exists and the other who has no clue. A propulsive, unforgettable read about the complexity of family.
Dystopian yet romantic, Dreamland follows a young woman whose struggling family gets relocated by the British government to a dilapidated beach town. As she grows up and falls in love with a mysterious visitor, she begins to realize that the town where she calls home has a more sinister intent. A searing examination of class and climate injustice.
Nella Larsen£7.99 £7.59
A beloved novel from the Harlem Renaissance that follows the fraught relationship between two childhood friends, one who passes for white and one who chooses not to. The forthcoming adaptation, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, is a faithful and gorgeous reimagining of the novel. Shot beautifully in black and white, it movingly captures the tense friendship at the heart of the book.
Jesmyn Ward£9.99 £9.49
I read Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones in college, and I marveled over Ward’s ear for language and her attentiveness to the rich emotional lives of her character. A beautiful, big-hearted novel.
Zora Neale Hurston£9.99 £9.49
In this short novel, Zora Neale Hurston somehow manages to capture the challenges faced by Black women seeking liberation in a racist, misogynist world while never losing sight of the liberating power of Black joy.
The Color Purple: The modern classic, now a major motion picture produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg
Alice Walker£9.99 £9.49
The Color Purple is a story about Black women living in the intersections of racialized and gendered violence, who find liberation through community with each other. A brutal and beautiful novel.
Anthony Veasna So£14.99 £14.24
A beautiful and blisteringly funny story collection from a young writer we lost far too soon. The book weaves through a Cambodian-American community in the shadow of genocide. following the children of refugees as they grapple with the complexities of masculinity, class, and family. Anthony Veasna So explores the lives of these unforgettable characters with bracing humor and startling tenderness.
Dawnie Walton£14.99 £14.24
An energetic oral history of a rock duo from the 60s that explores the role of Black people in rock, as well as the myths we create around ourselves.
A joyful celebration of Black performance and Black art that interweaves cultural analysis with personal meditation.
A blisteringly funny and propulsive story about three New Yorkers trying to form an unconventional family arrangement. A thought-provoking book about motherhood, gender, and identity.
Brit Bennett£9.99 £9.49
Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half is out now in paperback.