Books for White Folks Part 3: The Fiction

So in this post, we’re tackling some of the great fiction other there to enjoy and trust me, THERE IS SOOOO MUCH OF IT.  The collection here represents everything from literary powerhouses (Baldwin, Ellison Hurston Morrison, Walker) to phenomenal sci-fiction & fantasy (Butler, Jemisin, Okorafor) to contemporary writing  (Butler, Diaz, Hall, Ng, Stone).  

Book cover of Beloved by Toni MorrisonFiction is always a great place to explore identity since we know that fiction does build empathy and allows us a way of stepping into the shoes and experiences of another to see their world.  The authors provided here offer us many insights and considerations through lenses that the typical white person is not likely to see or appreciate unless they do their best to spend some hours walking through these fictional worlds.  

There are many great books among this list but for me, the all-time, still-punches-me-in-the-face-whenever-I-read-it, book on the list, is Beloved by Toni Morrison.  There are many other great books here but that one--it just leaves me raw.  The story explores how a mother eventually escapes slavery but is still haunted by the lesser evils she had to commit in order to survive slavery.

The Recommendations
  • Giovanni's Room by by James Baldwin
  • In the Heat of the Night by John Ball
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
  • The Monster by Stephen Crane 
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • Master Harold...and the boys by Athol Fugard
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Keith Glover
  • The Motherfucker With the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis
  • The Mountaintop by Katori Hall
  • Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry 
  • A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Cycle, #1) by Chester Himes 
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 
  • The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1) by N.K. Jemisin
  • Passing by Nella Larsen
  • Quicksand by Nella Larsen
  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Benito Cereno by Herman Melville
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • Binti (Binti, #1) by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
  • My Jim by Nancy Rawles 
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
You can find the full list of books in the genre of race, identity, and privilege on Goodreads.  For all posts in this series, check out:
  1. The Introduction
  2. The Ambassadors
  3. The Fiction
  4. The Classics
  5. The Memoirs and Personal Accounts
  6. The Comics
  7. The Histories
  8. Education
  9. Identities and American Culture
  10. The Systematic Critiques
  11. The Peripherals
  12. Since I Started...

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