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Best African American Fiction (2009) by E.…
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Best African American Fiction (2009)

by E. Lynn Harris

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I love anthologies; they always introduce us to the fledgling efforts of new authors and the newest work of seasoned writers and thus set themselves apart from any other reading. This particular volume, the first of an anticipated series, has successfully done both things, and has tapped both the adult and young adult audiences with the selections.

I ran into some old friends (ZZ Packer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helen Elaine Lee), was introduced to new ones (Amina Gautier, Tiphanie Yanique), and was pleasantly surprised by the 'young adult' selections made by the guest editor (E. Lynn Harris).

I actually purchased two books based on what I read in this anthology, and, that's the goal of the publisher, right? Moreover, I'm really looking forward to next year's volume of fiction writers. The editor next year is bound to bring another flavor and a new and different set of african american writers to further expand my reading experience. ( )
  greytone | Mar 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553385348, Paperback)

Introducing the first volume in an exciting new annual anthology featuring the year’s most outstanding fiction by some of today’s finest African American writers.

From stories that depict black life in times gone by to those that address contemporary issues, this inaugural volume gathers the very best recent African American fiction. Created during a period of electrifying political dialogue and cultural, social, and economic change that is sure to captivate the imaginations of writers and readers for years to come, these short stories and novel excerpts explore a rich variety of subjects. But most of all, they represent exceptional artistry.

Here you’ll find work by both established names and up-and-comers, ranging from Walter Dean Myers to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mat Johnson, and Junot Díaz. They write about subjects as diverse as the complexities of black middle-class life and the challenges of interracial relationships, a modern-day lynching in the South and a young musician’s coming-of-age during the Harlem Renaissance. What unites these stories, whether set in suburbia, in eighteenth-century New York City, or on a Caribbean island that is supposed to be “brown skin paradise,” is their creators’ passionate engagement with matters of the human heart.

Masterful and engaging, this first volume of Best African American Fiction features stories you’ll want to savor, share, and return to again and again.


Please click the "Behind the Book" link for contributor’s bios.



From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

This inaugural collection of fiction brings together authors across the rich and varied African diaspora experience. Organized into short stories, novel excerpts, and young adult fiction, the collection offers a range of styles, textures, and settings. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichies story is set in Nigeria, where American gangster-rap culture is permeating and guns and tortured loyalties became common. The U.S. and the Caribbean are the settings for Tiphanie Yaniques story of intergenerational and mixed-race tensions between two families. The collection includes an excerpt from Mat Johnsons historical novel set in eighteenth-century New York and an excerpt from Junot D-azs novelset in a contemporary urban ghetto. Also included are works by young adult authors Jacqueline Woodson and Walter Dean Myers. Not meant to be a definitive quasi-Norton edition, this engaging collection still shows the incredible range of talent and focus of fiction written by African Americans.… (more)

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