African American women -- fiction

The Color Purple

By Alice Walker

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Winner of the American Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this unforgettable portrait of a young black girl, her friends, family, and lovers is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

On Film:
Be sure to check out the powerful 1985 movie version, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Whoopie Goldberg.

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How Stella Got Her Groove Back

By Terry McMillan

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Stella Payne, a 42-year-old divorced investment analyst, takes a vacation in Jamaica where she meets a Jamaican man half her age. Through this relationship, she soon realizes that she must confront her hopes and fears about love and about life and the way she lives it.

On Film:
Angela Bassett, Taye Diggs, and Whoopi Goldberg star in this 1998 film adaptation. If you can't make it to the islands yourself, check out this movie for breathtaking Jamaican scenery with some self-discovery on the side.

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Waiting to Exhale

By Terry McMillan

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"... a wise, earthy story of a friendship between four African American women who lean on each other while 'waiting to exhale,' waiting for that man who will take their breath away."

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Murder through the Grapevine

By Teresa McClain-Watson

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Roni Jarrett was once in love with a high-rolling strip club owner who abused her. With nothing left but her newfound faith in Christ and her old BMW, she hits the road and ends up in her old hometown, with a new job in an upscale beauty salon and a position as music director for her church. But when her best friend from childhood turns up dead in the streets, the local police (including gorgeous Chief Don Gillette) suspect Roni, and she finds herself caught up in a dangerous maze of gossip and lies that could lead to her own destruction.
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Something She Can Feel

By Grace Octavia

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Tuscaloosa, Alabama, may not be a glamorous place, but for Journey Cash, the small Southern town has always been enough. She has a loving husband, a great family, and she even occasionally brings the house down at church with her beautiful, thunderous singing voice. Problem is, Journey finds herself wondering if all those years as an obedient preacher's daughter have kept her from living a life she is really meant to live.

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When the Nightingale Sings

By Joyce Carol Thomas

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Despite her mean-spirited foster mother's attempts to demean her, fourteen-year-old orphan Marigold finds the song within her heart during the search for a new lead gospel singer for the Rose of Sharon Baptist Church.
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Singing in the Comeback Choir

By Bebe Moore Campbell

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"Maxine McCoy has made it. She has overcome the odds she faced as a black woman from a working-class Philadelphia neighborhood to become a successful television producer in Los Angeles. She loves her hardworking, ambitious husband and is pregnant with her first child. She does worry, though, that the shows she produces are of no social value. But even this concern drops away when she receives a phone call from the caretaker of her seventy-year-old grandmother and learns she has to return to Philadelphia.

"Orphaned at an early age, Maxine grew up with her grandmother Lindy, a singing star. Lindy is now a smoking, drinking, embittered women whose glorious voice has atrophied from disuse, and the house that used to swing with laughter and music is dim and lifeless. Lindy's once striving neighborhood has become a blighted, crime-infested area. Yet after a few days there, Maxine realizes that Lindy and Sydenham Street itself have been the source of her own strength and success, and she is moved to help both reclaim their glory."

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Dreams That Won't Let Go

By Stacy Hawkins Adams

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Indigo Burns is excited. Her wedding preparations to the man of her dreams are under way, her career as a photographer is a success, and her family seems to be doing better than ever--all except her brother Reuben who nobody has seen in years. But that's about to change, because Reuben has decided to move back home to Jubilant, Texas. But Reuben's hope to find healing with his sisters doesn't seem to be working. Soon enough their lives intersect in dramatic, sometimes painful, and ultimately healing ways.
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Flaws and All

By Shana Burton

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Faith, family, and friendship have always been top priority to lifelong friends Lawson, Reginell, Sullivan, Angel, and Kina, but each one is about to be put to the test during one turbulent year. Lawson Kerry is a struggling single mother who has finally gotten her life together.
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A Million Blessings

By Angela Benson, Marilynn Griffith & Tia McCollors

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National bestselling authors Benson, Marilynn Griffith, and Tia McCollors join together for a compelling collection of novellas in which characters come to terms with newfound wealth and its effect on their faith.

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