The books that inspired Bernice L. McFadden's writing

By Vintage

By Vintage

Originally published over twenty years ago and beloved in the USA, Bernice L. McFadden's debut novel Sugar is an unforgettable story of friendship and forgiveness in small town America. Now available to UK readers for the first time, it will capture the hearts of readers of Where the Crawdads Sing, The Vanishing Half and Anne Tyler. 


In Bernice L. McFadden's twenty year writing career she has published ten critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, Gathering of Waters and Glorious and won numerous awards. While she is well-known in America, her work has not yet been widely read in the UK. By publishing her debut into the Vintage Classics collection, we hope to bring her work to the readership it so deserves and establish McFadden as one of the great contemporary voices of our time.


As an introduction to her work here Bernice shares the books that inspired her to become a writer. 

The Color Purple: The classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel

Alice Walker

£9.99 £9.49

The Color Purple was the first novel by a Black author that I'd ever read in my life. When the novel found me, I was a seventeen year old harbouring dreams of becoming an author. What The Color Purple provided for me then and now is inspiration and instruction.

Beloved: Special archival edition

Toni Morrison


It is difficult to pick only one Toni Morrison novel because her storytelling style is so skillfully layered and wonderfully poetic. That said, I return to Sula, Beloved and Song of Solomon again and again to spark my own creativity.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston

£9.99 £9.49

Often, place functions as character in story. In Their Eyes were Watching God, Hurston uses language in the same powerful way.

Brown Girl, Brownstones

Paule Marshall


How to write about identity from the inside out while turning a blind eye to the white gaze, that is what I learned from Paule Marshall.

Bernice L. McFadden's Sugar is out now in paperback. 


This Bitter Earth, the sequel to Sugar, will be reissued as a Vintage Classic in July 2022 and is available to pre-order now.

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