Literature, like art, is a reflection of the world around us. Recent events, trends and movements serve as inspiration for creative works to dig deeper into these moments in history. There are plenty of Black women lending their voices to the creative world of writing, and some are truly shaking up the industry. Here are some Black female authors leaving their mark on literary world.
The New York Times said she’s “the most celebrated science fiction and fantasy writer of her generation.” N.K. Jemisin has a vast collection of science fiction and fantasy titles under her name, and some of them are award-winners.
Take her Broken Earth trilogy, where a mother searches for her daughter in the midst of a battle royale between nations and apocalyptic storms. She has also published graphic novels, comic books, anthologies, short stories and other literary works.
Jacqueline Woodson is most known for her children’s and young adult books, these titles can be enjoyed by both younger individuals and adults. Some of her works have received multiple awards or recognition, including the National Book Award-winning Brown Girl Dreaming. It’s a collection of poems detailing Woodson’s experience growing up in the 1960s and 1970s as a Black American. She also has two books aimed for adults: Red at the Bone and Harbor Me.
This author won the National Book Award twice among other accolades throughout her career. Jesmyn Ward‘s recent novel Sing, Unburied, Sing chronicles a boy traveling with his drug-addicted mother and toddler sister to see their father who was just released from prison. Her other notable works include Salvage the Bones, Men We Reaped, Where The Line Bleeds and The Fire This Time.
Angie Thomas is best known for her debut novel The Hate U Give, which follows a Black girl who witnesses the shooting death of her best friend and the social fallout that follows. The novel was adapted into a critically-acclaimed film in 2017, starring Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter. Thomas has published three more literary works, including Find Your Voice (2019), On The Come Up (2019), and Concrete Rose (2021).
Tomi Adeyemi‘s Legacy of Orïsha series is sending waves through the young adult literature world. Children of Blood and Bone racked in multiple awards and honors and even has a film adaptation on the way. The story follows Zélie Adebola, her allies and companions as they navigate an oppressed world and shape it with their emerging magical abilities. A sequel called Children of Virtue and Vengeance was released in December 2019.
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