We barely just got through the first quarter of 2020 and a whole lot has happened already. Phew! What a year 2020 has been. The eventfulness of this year has me constantly thinking about what the rest of the year would bring.
On the bright side, this social distance era could help you discover the literary side you never knew existed. With ample time on your hands, a book or two or maybe seven is what you really need to sharpen your imagination, escape the sad reality and lose track of time.
Over the decades, black authors have grown in numbers, heavily contributing to the global literary scene with witty and enchanting fiction/nonfiction books, poetries and short stories. If you’re ready to indulge in some of the most inspiring, most intriguing books you’ll ever read, then this list, inspired by our Editors, was created just for you.
Check out 7 books by black authors you should read during this lockdown season…
#1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama frankly bared it all in her memoir, Becoming. In the 2018 memoir, she shed light on her life growing up, when she met her husband, a little on his political career and their time at the White House. Don’t we all want to know what the Obamas are really about? Pretty sure that’s a resounding yes!
#2. Whatever Happened To Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins
Kathleen Collins must have seen into the future because this book, while published in 2016, features a collection of stories which the multiple award-winning author wrote in the 1970s. Fast forward to 2020, what a time to be alive with all that liberation to love, but Kathleen sadly didn’t get to see her work published as she died in 1988, aged 46. This book proves that courage is key to getting anything done, including loving a different race.
#3. Fine Boys by Eghosa Imasuen
This book portrays the typical lifestyle of a Nigerian teenager, who can’t wait to leave home and bask in the unlimited freedom that comes with being in the university. It also sheds light on how dangerous the campus environment can get.
#4. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
We all know Trevor Noah to spew real truth laced with so much humour that he’ll crack your ribs and educate you simultaneously. Born a Crime is no different. The book is focused on Trevor growing up as a mixed-ish (mixed race) in South Africa during the apartheid period and centred around his extremely religious and paranoid mother. If you grew up in any part of Africa you’ll see how relatable his mother’s hardcore, old-fashioned training is.
#5. What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
This book is a collection of linked short stories that all play around keys; either a literal key to a house, to the heart or to a book. These are the intertwined short stories embedded in the 2016 novel:
- Books and Roses
- Is Your Blood as Red as This?
- Sorry Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea
If a book is locked there’s probably a good reason for that don’t you think? Helen Oyeyemi’s stories pan across alternate times and depict a prolific imagination. While home, pick up this book, tease your mind and expect to be blown away.
#6. The Theory Of Flight by Siphiwe Gloria
It is almost unbelievable that The Theory of Flight is Siphiwe’s first novel and has already got her name on the lips of so many. It speaks of artistic depth and experience. The book centres around a character called Genie who’s not in a bottle this time but in a coma. Left on her death bed after a civil war, she recounts National history and her family’s as well. Pick up The Theory of Flight and wave goodbye to boredom.
#7. My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyikan Braithwaite
This book is filled with dark humour and is so fast-paced it’ll keep you on your toes the entire reading time. Never have you seen a murder book so fun — just like the author describes it: “a darkly comedic” book. Ayoola keeps killing her boyfriends and her sister loyally covers her tracks. Oyikan Braithwaite put in so much wit and skill into her debut novel that one would easily believe she’s been doing this for decades. You can’t cry bored during this self-quarantine period because this book is just the perfect funtasy to keep you engaged.
Looking for books to read as you remain isolated? These books are intriguing and were written for such a time as this. The stories will surely keep you on lockdown.
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