10 of the best fiction books by Black authors in 2021
As we step into Black History Month, you may consider finding a contemporary fiction by Black writers that highlights current and relevant social issues. To that end, according to Goodreads, we list under 10 of the most anticipated fiction books by black authors. The books will all be published in 2021 or will be published in 2021 and have received significant reviews from a significant number of reviewers for Goodreads. The choice also depends on how many Goodreads members have added these books to their lists for reading.
This selection of books is by no means a definitive list, but rather encompasses, among other things, the growing divide between black and white communities in the United States, the enduring force of historical traditions, and racial inequalities among the American workforce. From established authors like Colson Whitehead to new voices like Mateo Askaripour, you’ll find many compelling, fascinating, and insightful books to add to your reading list now – and for the months to come – below.
1. “The Prophets” by Robert Jones Jr.
- Goodreads: 4.17-star average rating, 1,700+ reviews
This novel follows the love story of two enslaved young men on a plantation in the deep south. When an older man begins preaching the Master’s gospel, the couple navigates a community that they see as a threat to the harmony of the plantation.
2. “Black Buck” by Mateo Askaripour
- Goodreads:: 3.96 star average rating, 2,100+ reviews
Darren, 22, is switching from Starbucks to NYC tech startup salesman overnight. Darren navigates the ups and downs of success and its pressures on his personal life, looking for meaning in his brand new future.
3. “Yellow woman” by Sadeqa Johnson
- Goodreads:: 4.47 star average rating, 750+ reviews
Pheby Brown expected to be released on her eighteenth birthday. Instead, she is pushed into Virginia’s most notorious slave prison and grapples with the consequences of giving up love and freedom.
4th “The nicest lie”by Nancy Johnson (pre-order)
- Goodreads:: 4.17 star average rating, nearly 300 reviews
Returning to her hometown in Indiana, engineer Ruth Tuttle discovers the sacrifices her family has made to give her a better future. On Tuttle’s journey home, Johnson examines the struggle of black Americans for success.
- Goodreads:: 4.27 star average rating, 50+ reviews
After a community in Piedmont, North Carolina decides to attract students from the largely black side of town to white high schools in the west, students Gee and Noelle find themselves at the center of a complicated debate about integration.
6th “Libertia” by Kaitlyn Greenidge (pre-order)
- Goodreads:: 3.75 star average rating, 60+ reviews
Libertie Sampson feels choked by her mother’s desire to become a practicing doctor in Rebuilding Brooklyn. Forced to play music over science, Sampson discovers what such freedom means for a black woman.
7th “Caul Baby” by Morgan Jerkins (pre-order)
- Goodreads: 3.62 star average rating, 30+ reviews
Laila desperately wants to become a mother and after the end of previous pregnancies she turns to the Melancon family in order to preserve her precious “Caul”, which has healing powers that she absolutely wants to achieve. This magical novel brings together the weight of tradition and the power of the family, exploring both positive and negative uses.
8th. “The other black girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris (pre-order)
- Goodreads: 4.17-star average rating, more than 170 ratings
The thriller by Zakiya Dalila Harris revolves around the editorial assistant Nella Rogers, who is fed up with the isolation and microaggression in her company. As Harlem-born coworker Hazel climbs the job hierarchy, Rogers ponders what hostilities are perceived and how best to deal with them.
9. “Razorblade Tears” by SA Cosby (pre-order)
- Goodreads: 3.73 star average rating, 10+ ratings
When Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee learn that their sons have been murdered, the two couples join forces in a desperate desire for revenge. First the story of bloody retribution, the two confront their own prejudices in Cosby’s story of change and redemption.
10. “Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead (pre-order)
- Goodreads: 4.60 star average rating, 5 ratings
The furniture salesman Ray Carney is tied up with sketchy customers out of necessity and finds himself in increasingly rough waters. In the 1960s, New York plays a family saga that promises stories of love, crime, and hilarity.
Check out the latest buying guides and recommendations from NBC News and download the NBC News app for a full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.