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Black Caucus Literary Award for Fiction

( American Library Association )



Glorious
by Bernice L. McFadden

9781936070114Bernice L. McFaddenGlorious"The seeming inevitability of cruel fate juxtaposes the triumph of the spirit in this remarkably rich and powerful novel, Glorious . Bernice McFadden's fully realized characters are complicated, imperfect beings, but if ever a character were worthy of love and honor, it is her Easter Bartlett. This very American story is fascinating; it is also heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and beautifully written."--Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route "Riveting. . . . I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes."--Toni Morrison, on The Warmest December > Glorious is set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era. Blending the truth of American history with the fruits of Bernice L. McFadden's rich imagination, this is the story of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty. Glorious is ultimately an audacious exploration into the nature of self-hatred, love, possession, ego, betrayal, and, finally, redemption. a Bernice L. McFadden is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including the classic Sugar and Nowhere Is a Place , which was a Washington Post best fiction title for 2006. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honors from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is working on her next novel. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
URBAN LITERATURE MCF
Publication Date:
2011










Citizens Creek
by Lalita Tademy

9781476753034Lalita TademyCitizens Creek: A NovelThe New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah Book Club Pick Cane River brings us the evocative story of a once-enslaved man who buys his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian Wars, and his granddaughter, who sustains his legacy of courage. Cow Tom, born into slavery in Alabama in 1810 and sold to a Creek Indian chief before his tenth birthday, possessed an extraordinary gift: the ability to master languages. As the new country developed westward, and Indians, settlers, and blacks came into constant contact, Cow Tom became a key translator for his Creek master and was hired out to US military generals. His talent earned him money-but would it also grant him freedom? And what would become of him and his family in the aftermath of the Civil War and the Indian Removal westward? Cow Tom's legacy lives on-especially in the courageous spirit of his granddaughter Rose. She rises to leadership of the family as they struggle against political and societal hostility intent on keeping blacks and Indians oppressed. But through it all, her grandfather's indelible mark of courage inspires her-in mind, in spirit, and in a family legacy that never dies. Written in two parts portraying the parallel lives of Cow Tom and Rose, Citizens Creek is a beautifully rendered novel that takes the reader deep into a little known chapter of American history. It is a breathtaking tale of identity, community, family-and above all, the power of an individual's will to make a difference. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
MULTICULTURAL / INTERNATIONA TAD
Publication Date:
2015




Freeman
by Leonard Pitts

9781932841640Leonard PittsFreemanFreeman , the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam--a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army--decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged." At the same time, Sam's wife, Tilda, is being forced to walk at gunpoint with her owner and two of his other slaves from the charred remains of his Mississippi farm into Arkansas, in search of an undefined place that would still respect his entitlements as slaveowner and Confederate officer. The book's third main character, Prudence, is a fearless, headstrong white woman of means who leaves her Boston home for Buford, Mississippi, to start a school for the former bondsmen, and thus honor her father's dying wish. At bottom, Freeman is a love story--sweeping, generous, brutal, compassionate, patient--about the feelings people were determined to honor, despite the enormous constraints of the times. It is this aspect of the book that should ensure it a strong, vocal, core audience of African-American women, who will help propel its likely critical acclaim to a wider audience. At the same time, this book addresses several themes that are still hotly debated today, some 145 years after the official end of the Civil War. Like Cold Mountain , Freeman illuminates the times and places it describes from a fresh perspective, with stunning results. It has the potential to become a classic addition to the literature dealing with this period. Few other novels so powerfully capture the pathos and possibility of the era particularly as it reflects the ordeal of the black slaves grappling with the promise--and the terror--of their new status as free men and women. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
HISTORICAL FICTION PIT
Publication Date:
2013




Buying time
by Pamela Samuels Young

9780981562711Pamela Samuels YoungBuying Time" . . . a deftly-plotted thriller that combines the best of Lisa Scottoline and Robert Crais. Find a comfortable chair and plan to stay up late. Highly recommended." -Sheldon Siegel, N.Y. Times Bestselling Author Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he's about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems. In Waverly's new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there's a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars-including a hefty broker's fee for himself-in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath. The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who's bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly's clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson-who has some skeletons of his own to hide-are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
URBAN LITERATURE YOU
Publication Date:
2010




I wish I had a red dress : a novel
by Pearl Cleage

9780380977338Pearl CleageI Wish I Had a Red DressJoyce Mitchell was widowed far too young when her beloved husband, Mitch, died in a tragic accident five years ago. Since then she's kept her hands full and her mind and heart occupied by running The Sewing Circus, an all-girl group she founded to provide badly needed services like day care and job counseling to young women, many of whom are single mothers. More important, The Circus is a place for lively, wide-ranging, heart-to-heart discussions that will help members grow into what Joyce likes to call "twenty-first-century free women." All in all, Joyce has a full and rich life. She has her work, her family, her friends, and her town. But there are some nights when she crawls into bed alone and has to admit that something is missing. What she doesn't have is that red dress she keeps dreaming about or a social life that would accommodate it even if she braved the mail and bought one. To further complicate matters, she may not have The Sewing Circus much longer, as the state legislature has decided not to fund the group's vital but hard-todefine work with young women who are too often regarded as problems rather than possibilities. Feeling defeated and pessimistic, Joyce reluctantly agrees to keep a date for dinner at the home of her best friend, Sister -- a reverend like no other-and finds not only a perfect meal but a tall, dark stranger named Nate Anderson. Nate has just joined the administration at the high school and his unexpected presence in Idlewild touches a chord in Joyce that she thought her heart had forgotten how to play. Nate feels the same immediate connection, but both have enough experience with broken hearts to take it real slow. Besides, they've got too much work to do to concentrate on falling in love.... But life moves at its own pace, and as Sister says, "if you want to make God laugh, make plans." Particularly when it comes to matters of the heart. Joyce decides the trick is to stay focused and to remember that nothing is as sexy as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, especially if you tell it while you're wearing a perfect red dress.... - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3553.L389 I2 2001
Publication Date:
2002




God help the child
by Toni Morrison

9780307594174Toni MorrisonGod Help the ChildSpare and unsparing, God Help the Child --the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment--weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride's mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget." A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
FICTION MOR or PS3563.O8749 G63 2015
Publication Date:
2016




RL's dream
by Walter Mosley

9780393038026Walter MosleyRL's DreamRL's Dream is a novel about the blues--as an expression of black poetry and black tragedy and how they sit in judgment on the American experience. In contemporary New York, aging bluesman Soupspoon Wise is alone, ill, and dying. He has played his music in a thousand bars, clubs, and juke joints, but never so memorably as the time he played with one Robert "RL" Johnson in the Mississippi delta. That brief, indelible encounter with the great genius of country blues haunts Soupspoon, much as Johnson himself is said to have been possessed by Satan. And so Soupspoon proceeds to tell his story to Kiki Waters, the young white woman who has taken him in, another refugee from a South she can neither deny nor escape. - Description from Syndetics
Call Number:
PS3563.O88456 R5 1995
Publication Date:
1996









Information

Award Description
The Fiction Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association recognizes depictions of sensitive and authentic personal experience either within the framework of contemporary literary standards and themes or which explore innovative literary formats.

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