New Books

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New Books

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Jun 7, 2010, 1:21 pm

I thought I'd open a separate thread so we can note new books. These will be current or forthcoming books. I go through publisher catalogues on a regular basis and am happy to note new books as I find them. I know kidzdoc is always looking out for the latest also.

And here's one I saw today (and promptly dropped it in my Book Depository basket), as I enjoyed Habila's Measuring Time.

Oil on Water
Helon Habila
Penguin UK, 978-241144862, due out in August.

Jun 7, 2010, 1:25 pm

I should note that I am bound to miss quite a few because my interest is in finding quality women-authored books for Belletrista and sometimes as I skim I overlook the male authors (mostly this depends on whether I can meander or have to rush through!).

Jun 8, 2010, 9:55 am

Swallow by Nigerian author Sefi Atta
Interlink Books, 9781566568333, paperback, due out in September

Also recently published from Interlink (and mentioned by kidzdoc on the other thread) is her News from Home. This is a paperback collection of short stories.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is doing a reprint of Alice Walker's The Temple of My Familiar, due out September.


The Golden Hustla by Wahida Clark (a thriller, I think)
Grand Central Publishing, trade paperback, 9780446178105, due out in October

Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitt (nonfiction, her first book), hardcover, January 2011, 9780316017237

Paperback editions from Grand Central Publishing:

Searching for Tina Turner by Jacqueline Luckett is due out January 2011, 9780446542951

Sisters & Husbands by Connie Briscoe, due out February 2011, 9780446534888


Jun 8, 2010, 10:29 am

Thanks for setting up this thread!

Jun 8, 2010, 1:32 pm

Great idea avaland. Here are a couple of books that I just saw on the Early Reviewers list.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW Books) - release date June 1

In post-apocalyptic Africa, genocide still plagues one region. Under the tutelage of a mysterious shaman, a young tribeswoman, Onyesonwu, discovers her magical destiny and embarks on a journey that will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love—and ultimately death itself.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (William Morrow) - release date June 29
Description: African-born poet Lola Shoneyin makes her fiction debut with The Secret Lives of Babi Segi’s Wives, a perceptive, entertaining, and eye-opening novel of polygamy in modern-day Nigeria. The struggles, rivalries, intricate family politics, and the interplay of personalities and relationships within the complex private world of a polygamous union come to life in The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives—Big Love and The 19th Wife set against a contemporary African background.

Jun 28, 2010, 8:16 am

Lori L. Tharp author of Kinky Gazpacho will be releasing her new book Substitute Me on August 24th.

Aug 3, 2010, 7:31 pm

Rebel Yell by Alice Randall
Coming out in paperback in October

What starts off as a drive from Nashville to Birmingham quickly moves across the globe as Randall (The Wind Done Gone) unravels the life of Abel Jones. The day Abel was born, sweet tucked deep in the dark South, Langston Hughes, out west on a speaking tour, typed a little poem in celebration... Abel was colored-baby royalty—but things aren't always so sweet. Abel faces run-ins with the KKK and, after a short lifetime as an angry husband and father and a secretive spy, meets his untimely end in the bathroom of a campy dinner theater restaurant. We learn most of his history via his first wife, Hope, following her journey from a young Georgetown matron to the present (thoughts on President Obama and all). As she tries to reconcile Abel's right to tell necessary lies to his wife, and to whomever else he chose, she discovers what it is that bound them together in the first place. Randall leaves much to the imagination, but in the end, she successfully creates a family that's been torn apart and haphazardly put back together by forces sometimes terrifying, sometimes hopeful. -- Publishers Weekly

Edited: Aug 3, 2010, 8:28 pm

I am a Japanese Writer: A Novel
by Dany Laferriére
Translated by David Homel
September, paperback, 9781553655831

Haitian-Canadian author, from Quebec. Has written 14 other novels (His first novel was How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired which is being reissued in September from Douglas & McIntyre in Canada).

Edited: Aug 5, 2010, 2:26 pm

Open City by Teju Cole (Nigerian)
Due out February 2011 from Random House.
His previous book is "EVery Day is for the Thief"

Also, in my travels, I came across this great reading list of "International Women of Color" posted by Women's Resource Center at U California, Riverside.

The list is older, but there's some great reading on the list.

Aug 6, 2010, 9:09 pm

I enjoyed The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall and I have Pushkin and the Queen of Spades but I haven't read it yet. I will be buying Rebel Yell.

Aug 10, 2010, 5:23 pm

Hi folks, it's been a bit I'm working on another track in reading (Louise L. Hay -- You Can Heal Your Life) but, came across the list noted below -- (I'm not so sure about many of these folks (I'm keeping in mind to respect differences:) -- but Malcolm Gladwell and maybe a couple more. Take a look. Much Peace

The ATL Post's 13 Top Selling Black Authors

Sep 8, 2010, 8:29 pm

The Belletrista review of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self is here.

Also kidzdoc's review of Little Peul by Mariama Barry is here

And under the Awards & Nominations section you'll find a number of African or Africa-related literary awards including the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize which every five years goes to a work of fiction written by a woman that "prioritizes African women's experiences." It's an interesting list. Most are either available in the US, the UK or through the African Book Collective (in the US, that's through Michigan State University.

Sep 20, 2010, 5:25 pm

Of Beasts and Beings
Ian Holding (Zimbabwe)
paperback, April 2011, Simon & Schuster UK

Looks good!

Sep 23, 2010, 10:02 pm

Great suggestions, avaland.

I recently picked up the following books at book signings:

The Cross of Redemption:Uncollected Writings by James Baldwin by UNC English professor Randall Kenan. Here's an article that was in the local paper:

There's Always Work at the Post Office: African American Postal Workers and the Fight for Jobs, Justice, and Equality by NC A&T professor Philip Rubio

Fifth Born and Fifth Born II: The Hundredth Turtle by Zelda Lockhart. She's the Piedmont Poet Laureate.

Looking forward to the new Walter Mosley The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey which is out Nov 11th

On my wishlist is The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson that came out Sep 7

Sep 24, 2010, 12:07 am

I finished The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings by James Baldwin today, and it is excellent. I'll submit a formal review of it this weekend.

Sep 24, 2010, 7:48 am

kidzdoc, I look forward to your review. It's up on deck for October reading.

Two more new books:

Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America by Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson (Oct 5)

Some Sing, Some Cry by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza released Sep 14

Oct 6, 2010, 5:47 pm

Lives: Whole and Otherwise by H. Nigel Thomas. Author originally from Jamaica, living in Montreal now, has seven other books.

Here's an interesting book:

Take One Candle Light a Room
Susan Straight.

The content is certainly African-American, but the author is white (unless there is more than one author named Susan Straight) This all got me thinking about whether a white woman could write a credible piece of fiction about people of color...I suppose that topic could use its own thread, eh?)

Edited: Dec 31, 2010, 1:03 pm

Color Me English by Caryl Phillips
The New Press, hardcover, due out June 2011

"Captivating ruminations on race, culture, and identity in a world forever changed, by the celebrated British Caribbean writer and author of the booker-shortlisted Crossing the River."

I didn't check to see if it was out in the UK already.

Dec 31, 2010, 2:42 pm

Ooh, thanks Lois! I hadn't heard about his new book yet, but I'll definitely get it next year. Per Amazon UK it will be published there on 24 May.

Jan 4, 2011, 3:13 pm

JUst finished Alice Walker's latest collection of poetry Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.

Edited: Jan 6, 2011, 11:50 am

Mogul by Terrance Dean
Atria, on sale in June, paperback

"Essence bestselling author of Hiding in Hip Hop and entertainment insider Terrance Dean pens his debut novel about the "down-low" life of one of New York's most beloved hip hop producers."

My Soul to Take
Tananarive Due
Atria, due in paperback in September (2011)
Essence bestseller Tananarive Due brings a new story to the critically acclaimed novels about the descendants of an immortal line of people who have blood that can heal disease. The future of mankind hangs in the balance in this one: The first battle of a prophesied war betweeen the mortals and immortals.

Both of these titles might already be out in hardcover, I didn't check. Am working out of an abbreviated publisher catalog.

Jan 6, 2011, 11:55 am

Thanks avaland,

My Soul To Take isn't currently out in hardcover. The author did tweet that it was coming out in the Fall, so it's good to know which month. I've added the Caryl Philips to my wish list.

Hurricane by Jewell Parker Rhodes is being released April 12th

Jan 11, 2011, 10:50 am

Hello everyone! Love this thread!-:)

Morning Haiku by Sonia Sanchez
I am so excited to read this book. It is scheduled to be released on January 25th

Jan 26, 2011, 1:33 am

I recently read Substitute Me by Lori L. Tharps and enjoyed it. Now, I'm reading Swallow by Sefi Atta.

Feb 24, 2011, 6:22 pm

I received a tweet today, which informed me that Agate Publishing is giving away free e-book versions of Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans by Rosalyn Story, for the remainder of African-American History Month. It's a novel set in post-Katrina New Orleans, and, for what it's worth, it's gotten excellent reviews on Amazon. I'm not familiar with the book or its author, but I'll certainly give it a try.

More info: Free Wading Home!

Feb 27, 2011, 2:38 pm

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing this kidzdoc. It looks to be a good read.

Mar 29, 2011, 4:12 pm

If Sons, Then Heirs: A Novel
Lorene Cary

If Sons, Then Heirs sheds light on a uniquely American, largely untold story of African American land ownership, the outmigration from the South, racial violence, and the consequences of past decisions on present realities.

After World War II, Needham family members migrated north to Philadelphia from South Carolina, leaving behind the tragic injustice surrounding the violent death of their patriarch, King. His devoted widow, Selma, remains on the old home place. Over the years, she raises King’s children, including his great-grandson, Rayne, on whom falls the responsibility to bring the family together to save the family land and mend the rift between him and his mother.

Rayne and the other vividly drawn characters face challenges big and small that mirror the experiences of families everywhere. But in the masterful storytelling of Lorene Cary, so distinct and unique are their voices that they will live in the minds of readers long after the last page is read. If Sons, Then Heirs is a tour de force that explores the power of family secrets, bonds, and love. This gripping novel is certain to be on the must-read lists of all who enjoy brilliantly rendered stories of family, love, and American history.

Coming out in hardcover in May.

Mar 30, 2011, 11:22 pm

I'll have to check this out Avaland.

Apr 1, 2011, 8:02 am

Juice! by Ishmael Reed (April 5, 2011)

In 2010, the Newseum in Washington D.C. finally obtained the suit O. J. Simpson wore in court the day he was acquitted, and it now stands as both an artifact in their "Trial of the Century" exhibit and a symbol of the American media's endless hunger for the criminal and the celebrity. This event serves as a launching point for Ishmael Reed's Juice!, a novelistic commentary on the post-Simpson American media frenzy from one of the most controversial figures in American literature today. Through Paul Blessings—a censored cartoonist suffering from diabetes—and his cohorts—serving as stand-ins for the various mediums of art—Ishmael Reed argues that since 1994, "O. J. has become a metaphor for things wrong with culture and politics." A lament for the death of print media, the growth of the corporation, and the process of growing old, Juice! serves as a comi-tragedy, chronicling the increased anxieties of "post-race" America.

Edited: Apr 1, 2011, 1:25 pm

I have both of these on my "to buy" list. Ishmael Reed will be live on BookTV on CSpan this weekend.

Some more releases:

"Hurricane" by Jewell Parker Rhodes - 4/12
"Akata Witch" by Nnedi Okorafor - 4/14

Edited: Apr 12, 2011, 5:49 pm

Hello! Thanx for the heads up. I've added all four to my wishlist.

May 5, 2011, 8:54 am

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (pub date says May 24th, but Amazon says it's in stock)

From Publishers Weekly: A coming-of-age story of sorts, Jones's melodramatic latest (after The Untelling) chronicles the not-quite-parallel lives of Dana Lynn Yarboro and Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon in 1980s Atlanta. Both girls-born four months apart-are the daughters of James Witherspoon, a secret bigamist, but only Dana and her mother, Gwen, are aware of his double life. This, Dana surmises, confers "one peculiar advantage" to her and Gwen over James's other family, with whom he lives full time, though such knowledge is small comfort in the face of all their disadvantages. Perpetually feeling second best, 15-year-old Dana takes up with an older boy whose treatment of her only confirms her worst expectations about men. Meanwhile, Chaurisse enjoys the easy, uncomplicated comforts of family, and though James has done his utmost to ensure his daughters' paths never cross, the girls, of course, meet, and their friendship sets their worlds toward inevitable (and predictable) collision. Set on its forced trajectory, the novel piles revelation on revelation, growing increasingly histrionic and less believable. For all its concern with the mysteries of the human heart, the book has little to say about the vagaries of what motivates us to love and lie and betray. (May)

Edited: May 8, 2011, 1:58 pm

The plot of Silver Sparrow reminds me of the real-life case related in Dear Senator about Strom Thurmond's treatment of his daughter. I'm sure that Senator Thurmond's situation was one that had been played out over and over again for centuries in the South.

May 18, 2011, 1:38 pm

Colson Whitehead!
"Zone One" coming in October from Random House

In this wry take on the post-apocalyptic horror novel, a pandemic has devastated the planet. The plague has sorted humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead.

Now the plague is receding, and Americans are busy rebuild­ing civilization under orders from the provisional govern­ment based in Buffalo. Their top mission: the resettlement of Manhattan. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street—aka Zone One—but pockets of plague-ridden squatters remain. While the army has eliminated the most dangerous of the infected, teams of civilian volunteers are tasked with clearing out a more innocuous variety—the “malfunctioning” stragglers, who exist in a catatonic state, transfixed by their former lives.

Mark Spitz is a member of one of the civilian teams work­ing in lower Manhattan. Alternating between flashbacks of Spitz’s desperate fight for survival during the worst of the outbreak and his present narrative, the novel unfolds over three surreal days, as it depicts the mundane mission of straggler removal, the rigors of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and the impossible job of coming to grips with the fallen world.

And then things start to go wrong.

Both spine chilling and playfully cerebral, Zone One bril­liantly subverts the genre’s conventions and deconstructs the zombie myth for the twenty-first century.

Jun 21, 2011, 4:43 pm

The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate.

Josie Henderson loves the water and is fulfilled by her position as the only senior-level black scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In building this impressive life for herself, she has tried to shed the one thing she cannot: her family back in landlocked Cleveland. Her adored brother, Tick, was her childhood

ally as they watched their drinking father push away all the love that his wife and children were trying to give him. Now Tick himself has been coming apart and demands to be heard.

Weaving four voices into a beautiful tapestry, Southgate charts the lives of the Hendersons from the parents’ first charmed meeting to Josie’s realization that the ways of the human heart aremore complex than anything seen under amicroscope.

Algonquin Books, due out September.

Danzy Senna

Each of these eight remarkable stories by Danzy Senna tightrope-walks tantalizingly, sometimes frighteningly, between defined states: life with and without mates and children, the familiar if constraining reference points provided by race, class, and gender. Tensions arise between a biracial couple when their son is admitted to the private school where they'd applied on a lark. A new mother hosts an old friend, still single, and discovers how each of them pities-and envies- the other. A young woman responds to an adoptee in search of her birth mother, knowing it is not she.

Riverhead, paperback, 9781594485077, short stories. Came out in May.


Jun 26, 2011, 6:10 pm

Looking at African American History: 1500-2008
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
November, hardcover, $50

My song:A Memoir
Harry Belafonte

Zone One
Colson Whitehead

The Sacred Bank: Vol 3 of the Acacia Trilogy
David Anthony Durham

Aug 14, 2011, 11:33 pm

If you are a fan of Tananarive Due's African Immortal Series, the fourth installment My Soul To Take is due out September 6th. It continues the story of Dawit, Jessica and Fana. So if you would like to refresh yourself with the series it the time!