Bedrock Faith (Eric Charles May)

"Yesterday I struck a blow in my fight against sin. I’m dedicating my life to walking in The Light and I’ll take on Satan wherever I see him. I’m going to spread the Word. And if anybody tries to stop me they better watch out, ’cause I got the Lord for backup."

"Yesterday I struck a blow in my fight against sin. I’m dedicating my life to walking in The Light and I’ll take on Satan wherever I see him. I’m going to spread the Word. And if anybody tries to stop me they better watch out, ’cause I got the Lord for backup."

U.S.A. / 2014

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald “Stew Pot” Reeves returns home to live with his mom on Chicago’s South Side. His return sends residents into a tailspin. Eventually, he appoints himself the moral judge of his neighborhood. He discovers that a woman on his block is a lesbian and outs her, the first battle in an escalating war of wills with immediate neighbors..."— Akashic Books.

The Book of Harlan (Bernice L. McFadden)

"You can't expect a child not to become a product of his environment. If you're a drinker, you'll raise a drunk. If you're a single mother, traipsing men in and out of your bedroom in front of your girl child - mark my words, in time she'll claim a corner and charge money for what you gave away for free. Kings and queens raise princes and princesses. That's just the way it is.”

"You can't expect a child not to become a product of his environment. If you're a drinker, you'll raise a drunk. If you're a single mother, traipsing men in and out of your bedroom in front of your girl child - mark my words, in time she'll claim a corner and charge money for what you gave away for free. Kings and queens raise princes and princesses. That's just the way it is.”

U.S.A. / 2016

"During World War II, two African American musicians are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp." — Akashic Books.

Anowa (Ama Ata Aidoo)

"Listen to the advice your parents give,think about what they've said and if you find that it is sensible(which is the case most at times), follow it.''

"Listen to the advice your parents give,think about what they've said and if you find that it is sensible(which is the case most at times), follow it.''

Ghana / 1970

Anowa is a play based on a traditional Ghanaian tale of a daughter who rejects suitors proposed by her parents and marries a stranger who ultimately is revealed as the devil in disguise. The play is set in the 1870s on the Gold Coast.

Fragments (Ayi Kwei Armah)

“You have a fullness you need to bring out. It's not an emptiness you need to cover up with things.”

“You have a fullness you need to bring out. It's not an emptiness you need to cover up with things.”

Ghana / 1970

After Baako returns to Ghana from America, he brings with him material gifts that threaten to corrupt his family's morals—and the very infrastructure of Ghana. This novel explores the ways materialism, capitalism, and westernization compromised traditional Ghanaian values.

The Famished Road (Ben Okri)

“One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.”

“One human life is deeper than the ocean. Strange fishes and sea-monsters and mighty plants live in the rock-bed of our spirits. The whole of human history is an undiscovered continent deep in our souls. There are dolphins, plants that dream, magic birds inside us. The sky is inside us. The earth is in us.”

Nigeria / 1991

This novel won Okri the 1991 Man Booker Prize.

Synopsis: "Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. The life he foresees for himself and the tale he tells is full of sadness and tragedy, but inexplicably he is born with a smile on his face. Nearly called back to the land of the dead, he is resurrected. But in their efforts to save their child, Azaro's loving parents are made destitute. The tension between the land of the living, with its violence and political struggles, and the temptations of the carefree kingdom of the spirits propels this latter-day Lazarus's story." — GoodReads.

Pecking Order (Nicole Homer)

“Motherhood is like being pecked to death by my favorite birds made from my body, torn by beaks sharpened.”

“Motherhood is like
being pecked
to death
by my
favorite birds
made from my
body, torn
by beaks sharpened.”

U.S.A. / 2017

"Nicole Homer’s first full-length poetry is an unflinching look at how race and gender politics play out in the domestic sphere. Homer challenges the notion of family by forcing the reader to examine how race, race performance, and colorism impact motherhood immediately and from generation to generation." — Write Bloody Publishing.

Read my full review of Pecking Order here.

Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work (Edwidge Danticat)

"I am even more certain that to create dangerously is also to create fearlessly, boldly embracing the public and private terrors that would silence us, then bravely moving forward even when it feels as though we are chasing or being chased by ghosts."

"I am even more certain that to create dangerously is also to create fearlessly, boldly embracing the public and private terrors that would silence us, then bravely moving forward even when it feels as though we are chasing or being chased by ghosts."

Haiti / 2010

"In this deeply personal book, the celebrated Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat reflects on art and exile, examining what it means to be an immigrant artist from a country in crisis. Inspired by Albert Camus' lecture, "Create Dangerously," and combining memoir and essay, Danticat tells the stories of artists, including herself, who create despite, or because of, the horrors that drove them from their homelands and that continue to haunt them. Danticat eulogizes an aunt who guarded her family's homestead in the Haitian countryside, a cousin who died of AIDS while living in Miami as an undocumented alien, and a renowned Haitian radio journalist whose political assassination shocked the world. Danticat writes about the Haitian novelists she first read as a girl at the Brooklyn Public Library, a woman mutilated in a machete attack who became a public witness against torture, and the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and other artists of Haitian descent. Danticat also suggests that the aftermaths of natural disasters in Haiti and the United States reveal that the countries are not as different as many Americans might like to believe.

Create Dangerously is an eloquent and moving expression of Danticat's belief that immigrant artists are obliged to bear witness when their countries of origin are suffering from violence, oppression, poverty, and tragedy." — Princeton University Press.