Best African American Fiction 2009

Front Cover
Gerald Lyn Early, E. Lynn Harris
Bantam Books, 2009 - Fiction - 316 pages
3 Reviews
Introducing the first volume in an exciting new annual anthology featuring the year's most outstanding fiction by some of today's finest African American writers From stories that depict black life in times gone by to those that address contemporary issues, this inaugural volume gathers the very best recent African American fiction. Created during a period of electrifying political dialogue and cultural, social, and economic change that is sure to captivate the imaginations of writers and readers for years to come, the short stories and novel excerpts collected here explore a rich variety of subjects. But most of all, they represent exceptional artistry. The writers whose work is included are both established names and up-and-comers, ranging from Edward P. Jones, Walter Dean Myers, and Stephen L. Carter to ZZ Packer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mat Johnson, and Junot Diaz. They write about subjects as diverse as the complexities of black middle-class life and the challenges of interracial relationships, a modern-day lynching in the South, and a young musician's coming-of-age during the Harlem Renaissance. What unites these stories, whether set in suburbia and "the heart of whiteness" in eighteenth-century New York City or on a Caribbean island that is supposed to be "brown-skin paradise" is their creators' passionate engagement with matters of the human heart. Masterful and engaging, this first volume ofBest African American Fiction 2009features stories you'll want to savor, share, and return to again and again. Please click the "Behind the Book" link for contributor's bios.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The expansive criteria in terms of authors, genres and publication dates (2006-09) makes for a treasure trove of discovery in this volume, though it doesn't hold together as well as so many other best ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Running the gamut from accessible crime fiction to experimental efforts by critics' darlings, this ambitious anthology offers a snapshot of modern black culture without being tied to a single theme ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

E. Lynn Harris is a nine-time New York Times bestselling author. His work includes the memoir What Becomes of the Brokenhearted and the novels, A Love of My Own, Just as I Am, Any Way the Wind Blows (all three of which were named Novel of the Year by the Blackboard African American Bestsellers), I Say a Little Prayer, If This World Were Mine (which won the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence), and the classic Invisible Life. His latest book is Just Too Good to Be True.

Gerald Early is a noted essayist and American culture critic. A professor of English, African & African American Studies, and American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Early is the author of several books, including The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and This Is Where I Came In: Black America in the 1960s. He is also editor of numerous volumes, including The Muhammad Ali Reader and The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader. He served as a consultant on four of Ken Burns’s documentary films, Baseball, Jazz, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, and The War, and appeared in the first three as an on-air analyst.

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