10 Black Fiction Writers To Know And Read

Among the revelations from NewsOne’s exclusive interview with Jemele Hill is that the celebrated sports journalist-turned-author who just published her memoir has her hopes set on writing fiction next. If Hill follows through with her intentions, it would make her the latest in a long line of talented Black fiction writers.

When asked if fiction could be a possibility for her, Hill said that doing so is part of her larger writing ambitions.

“I think it’s definitely in the picture,” Hill said about the prospects of her writing fiction in the future. “I’m toying with some ideas.”

Hill described publishing fiction as effectively an installment on her proverbial bucket list.

“I want that for myself. Definitely,” Hill added. “To be able to write something, write a fiction novel that really has some impact. We’ll see what I come up with.”

MORE: The Front Page: Jemele Hill Is Telling Her Truth

If Hill does get to publish works of fiction, she would be joining an esteemed roster of other Black fiction writers, many of whom have been recognized with prestigious awards. Some have even had their fictional works adapted for the big and small screens.

Keep reading to find a select list of Black fiction writers who can serve as inspiration for Hill and her ambitions to one day join their ranks.

1. Nella Larsen

Novelist and short story writer Nella Larsen was a quiet force within the Harlem Renaissance. Her first novel, Quicksand (1928), published when she was thirty-six, combined autobiography with fiction to explore her own dealings with her mixed-race identity. #HiddenHerstory #WHM pic.twitter.com/dgW7tPkm02

— Smithsonian NMAAHC (@NMAAHC) March 19, 2019

Nella Larsen’s classic 1929 novel, Passing, was recently adapted into a motion picture in an indication of the type fo lasting legacy her work has had for nearly a century.

2. Tananarive Due


Award-winning science fiction writer and UCLA professor Tananarive Due calls herself a “horror head” who considers horror a subgenre of speculative fiction, where she reigns supreme. Winner of The American Book Award, the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature and the Carl Brandon Kindred Award, Due has published more than 10 novels since 1995.

3. Ta-Nehisi Coates


The Howard graduate made a name for himself as a music and culture journalist before being recognized for his historic work at the Atlantic, including a seminal piece in 2014 making the case for reparations. The author of three books has also won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2015 for “Between the World and Me,” which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

4. Colson Whitehead


Colson Whitehead, whose celebrated novel The Underground Railroad was turned into a TV show, has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including three Pulitzer Prizes.

5. Octavia Butler


The pioneering science fiction writer Octavia Butler has won a number of awards for her novels, many of which center on the subgenre of Afrofuturism.

6. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction for Americanah, a novel about race and identity.

7. Marlon James


Jamaica-born novelist Marlon James in 2015 won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his book, A Brief History of Seven Killings. The fictional novel chronicles the attempted murder of legendary reggae artist Bob Marley in 1976. “It is a crime novel that moves beyond the world of crime and takes us deep into a recent history we know far too little about. It moves at a terrific pace and will come to be seen as a classic of our times,” said Michael Woods, chairman of the Man Booker Prize committee. James made history as the first Jamaican author to win the prize. His other pieces of work include John Crow’s Devil, which was published in 2005, and The Book of Night Women, which was released in 2009. 

8. Paul Beatty


Paul Beatty won the coveted Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his 2015 novel, The Sellout, “an uproariously funny, deliciously profane and ferociously intelligent send-up of so much of our culture,” as reviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle.

9. Stacey Abrams


The politician and voting rights activist has written eight romance novels under the moniker Selena Montgomery, not including her first children’s book called “Stacey’s Extraordinary Words.”  

“The act of writing is integral to who I am,” the political star told the Washington Post in 2018. “I’m a writer, a politician, a tax attorney, a civic leader, and an entrepreneur. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished.” In 2021, Abrams released her political thriller While Justice Sleeps.

10. Walter Mosley


Renowned author, bestselling novelist and recipient of The National Book Foundation’s lifetime achievement award, Walter Mosley, has penned powerful, thought-provoking pieces of work for decades now. 

The post 10 Black Fiction Writers To Know And Read appeared first on NewsOne.

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