Recommended Reading: Antiracist Fiction

By Julianne Jones | June 12 2020 | Fiction

“Antiracist” is generally defined as the active pursuit of dismantling racism on all levels. As opposed to simply being “not racist,” antiracism is rooted in action.

Many readers are likely now familiar with Ibram X. Kendi’s HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST, as it continues to top bestseller lists while conversations about race are growing across the country. And while there are many more nonfiction titles on this subject that readers can explore, there are also many fiction titles that tackle these topics in ways that are both eye-opening and entertaining.

Recommend this list of bestselling thought-provoking titles to use as starting points in critical conversations—between book clubs, families, friend groups, colleagues, etc. Inspired by a recent Publisher’s Weekly article, this collection includes breakout voices like Kiley Reid, Yaa Gyasi, Lauren Wilkinson, and Brit Bennett, as well as powerhouses such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and more.

To see the full list of titles on the Backlist Vault, click here.

To see this collection on Edelweiss, click here.

Such a Fun Age
978-0-525-54190-5
A Best Book of the Year: The Washington Post | NPR | Chicago Tribune | Slate | Parade | Elle | Real Simple | InStyle | Good Housekeeping | Vox | Kirkus Reviews | Library Journal | BookPage LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A REESE'S BOOK CLUB x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK "The most provocative page-turner of the year." --Entertainment Weekly "I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." --NPR A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.
$26.00 US
Dec 31, 2019
Hardcover
G.P. Putnam's Sons
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Water Dancer
A Novel
978-0-399-59059-7
AN OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK A boldly imagined work of magic and adventure from the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me.
$28.00 US
Sep 24, 2019
Hardcover
One World
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Beloved
978-1-4000-3341-6
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding New York Times bestseller transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
$16.00 US
Jun 08, 2004
Paperback
Vintage
US, Canada, Open Mkt

The Nickel Boys (Winner 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
A Novel
978-0-385-53707-0
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 10 BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE WINNER OF THE KIRKUS PRIZE LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
$24.95 US
Jul 16, 2019
Hardcover
Doubleday
US, Opn Mkt (no CAN)

Deacon King Kong
A Novel
978-0-7352-1672-3
"Terrific...deeply felt, beautifully written, and profoundly humane." --The New York Times Book Review cover "Hilarious...A rich and vivid multicultural history." --Time Magazine From James McBride, author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird and the bestselling modern classic The Color of Water, one of the most anticipated novels of the year: a wise and witty tale about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.
$28.00 US
Mar 03, 2020
Hardcover
Riverhead Books
US, Canada, Open Mkt