In her bold follow-up to Citizen: An American Lyric, Rankine is pulling no punches in this unique and thoughtful play. In one act, Rankine calls into question how racial equality can never be achieved when the concepts of whiteness and white privilege are so quick to be avoided. She introduces you to Charlotte, a black artist on the rise, who is attending a dinner party at the home of Virginia and Charles, a wealthy older white couple with a particular interest in artists of color. With slight nods to works like Get Out that play with the trope of the “white savior complex” in less than classic ways, Charlotte confronts her potential white benefactors and all of their seemingly good intentions as the dinner party begins to spiral. While this play is one of those pieces that will only take you a little over an hour to read, it is a work that you will still be thinking about long after you’ve absorbed the last line.
A powerful debut short story collection from a promising young voice (a 5 Under 35 prize-winner!) in the vein of movies like Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, and BlacKKKlansman. This is a satirical look at what it means to be young and black in America, and all of the heartbreak that often comes with it. Everyone needs to read this book. Intriguing, heart-wrenching, and often absurd, these stories demand the reader's attention long after they've ended. And with stories like "The Finkelstein Five," in which a number of unarmed black children are brutally murdered under the guise of "stand your ground," these stories will enrage you as well as give you pause. From its dark humor comes glimmers of hope, but only if the reader chooses to see it.
What might be lurking in the dark when the sun goes down and the fog comes rolling in? From the exceptionally unique voice that brought us The Bear and the Nightingale comes a middle grade debut that sends chills up your spine, even on the warmest day. Olivia Adler, a.k.a. Ollie, is the type of girl who has an intense love for books. So when she stumbles upon a slightly crazed woman about to throw a book into the river in her small Vermont town, she has no choice but to stealit away from her. Little does she know that the woman who was trying to discard the book is the same woman who owns the farm where her sixth grade class is taking their next field trip. Avoid large places at night, keep to small… The book issues a warning and as strange things begin to unfold on the farm, Ollie realizes there’s much more to the book and this farm than meets the eye.
This is a completely atmospheric whirlwind that will keep you engrossed until the final page. Amanda lies on a cot in a rural hospital unable to move. Here she talks to David, the little boy whom you’re not quite sure is alive himself, about what exactly has brought her here and what it means for her fate and the fate of her daughter. Part ghost story, part psychological thriller, Schweblin weaves a haunting tale of twists and turns that will make you question everything you think is true.
Read this book. Read this book and share this book. Claudia is beginning her last year before high school after spending the summer at her grandmother’s house and not hearing a word from her best friend, Monday. She and Monday are so close that they’re practically sisters, so when Claudia shows up for the first day of school and Monday isn’t there she immediately knows that something is wrong, but no one seems to notice or care. Days pass, then weeks. Still, no one Claudia turns to is concerned about another missing black girl in Washington DC. This is beautifully nuanced exploration of the marginalization of people of color as well as gentrification. It is absolutely devastating, but incredibly necessary. Jackson presents a timely work that you will not be able to put down, with a twist that will keep you thinking long after the final page.