Beautiful Girls


Beth Ann Bauman - 2004
    The characters who inhabit Beautiful Girls are the timid, the not-quite-fabulous, the public school Ophelias, who yearn for something grander than their current lot.Told with irresistible humor and a cockeyed economy, these stories illuminate the search for love, friendship, connection, and identity.

At-Risk


Amina Gautier - 2011
    Gautier’s stories explore the lives of young African Americans who might all be classified as “at-risk,” yet who encounter different opportunities and dangers in their particular neighborhoods and schools and who see life through the lens of different family experiences.Gautier’s focus is on quiet daily moments, even in extraordinary lives; her characters do not stand as emblems of a subculture but live and breathe as people. In “The Ease of Living,” the young teen Jason is sent down south to spend the summer with his grandfather after witnessing the double murder of his two best friends, and he is not happy about it. A season of sneaking into as many movies as possible on one ticket or dunking girls at the pool promises to turn into a summer of shower chairs and the smell of Ben-Gay in the unimaginably backwoods town of Tallahassee. In “Pan Is Dead,” two half-siblings watch as the heroin-addicted father of the older one works his way back into their mother’s life; in “Dance for Me,” a girl on scholarship at a posh Manhattan school teaches white girls to dance in the bathroom in order to be invited to a party.As teenagers in complicated circumstances, each of Gautier’s characters is pushed in many directions. To succeed may entail unforgiveable compro­mises, and to follow their desires may lead to catastrophe. Yet within these stories they exist and can be seen as they are, in the moment of choosing.

Blossom


Queen Pen - 2006
    Lavished with expensive jewelry, exotic getaways, and, most important, her first love, Blossom's life is transformed. But her fairy tale is quickly ended when a murder occurs -- meant for the two lovers -- and Dude's emotional pain and controlling temper cause him to change his attitude toward Blossom. Soon deceit casts a dark shadow over their relationship, and Blossom is left feeling abandoned and betrayed -- but still hopelessly in love. A portrait of life in urban black America, Blossom takes us on the rocky journey of falling in love with a street hustler, where tomorrow is never guaranteed -- even for Blossom, a woman full of such life and promise.

Something Noble


William Kowalski - 2012
    When she learns that her son Dre needs a kidney transplant, her family's already precarious financial situation takes a turn for the worst. Then she discovers that the only one who can help Dre is his half-brother LeVon, a drug-dealing gangbanger who thinks only of himself. Somehow Linda must get through to LeVon in order to save her son.Though she is deathly afraid of LeVon and the world he lives in, Linda knows she must conquer her fear and meet him on his own turf if she is to have any hope of success. Linda is finally able to teach LeVon the value of doing something noble with his life. And to her surprise, she learns she has room in her heart for one more kid, a boy from the streets who never had a chance.

What's Really Hood!: A Collection of Tales from the Streets


Wahida Clark - 2010
    Martin delves into the life of a corporate woman who falls in love with a thug and finds out just how easy it is to stray from the straight and narrow. Eighteen and hungry Wiz's only addiction to drugs is the money it made. But Crystal changed all of that and shows him just how powerful a woman can be in The P is Free by LaShonda Teague. In The Last Laugh by Bonta, Bobo, a member of the infamous Eight-Trey street gang, learns that gang life isn't all it's cracked up to be as "street wars" take on a whole new meaning. Shawn "Jihad" Trump tells the story of loyalty, love and honor, when The Point Blank Mob is brought to its knees leaving the crew fighting for their lives and freedom in All for Nothing. And New York Times bestselling author, Wahida Clark, introduces Nina, a woman tired of being disrespected by men who takes revenge to the ultimate level in Makin' Endz Meet.

Only Twice I've Wished for Heaven


Dawn Turner Trice - 1997
    In 1975, Tempestt Saville and her family are chosen by lottery to "move on up" to Lakeland: one square mile of sparkling apartment towers and emerald lawns where the Black elite live sheltered from the ghetto by a ten-foot-tall, ivy-covered wrought-iron fence.  Eleven-year-old Temmy doesn't enjoy the privilege, however, and thinks Lakeland is the "kingdom of the drab."  Instead, she is drawn to the vivid world outside the fence: to 35th Street, where the saved and the sinners are both so "done up" you can't tell one from the other.  Tempestt's curiosity soon leads her down a dangerous path, however, and after witnessing the death of a friend, she sets into motion a chain of events that will send 35th Street up in flames.

Black & Ugly


T. Styles - 2007
    As a result, she considers herself to be unattractive and condones the misuse of her body. Sky Taylor is beautiful, fly and wanted, and loves reminding Parade of her imperfections especially after suspecting that she may be sleeping with her man, Jay Hernandez. Miss Wayne is hilarious and a self-proclaimed girlfriend who enjoys the attention his friends bring. If you let Miss Wayne tell it, he's not a gay, he s just one of the girls. Daffany Stans uses her body for profit and hides a health secret so serious that it could endanger the lives of her friends, considering their sex partners are so closely related. Black & Ugly is a tale of four totally different friends from the same block, whose friendship is tested during a seemingly innocent game of Truth or Dare. When fatal secrets begin to surface, will Parade give up the friend whose shadow she has walked in all her life? And will Miss Wayne and Daphne abandon their friends to save themselves?

Summer Lightning and Other Stories


Olive Senior - 1986
    Summer Lightning is her first collection of short stories. Her setting is rural Jamaica; her heroes are the naïve and the vulnerable, who bring to life with power and realism issues such as snobbery, ambition, jealousy, faith and love.Written in vivid, colourful detail, these rich compelling stories recreate with sensitivity and wit a whole range of emotions, from childhood hope to brooding melancholy. Each is told with an affectionate and poignant perception of you and I at our best and worst. Gently we are led, laughing, crying, but always enjoying.

Visible Lives: A Tribute To E. Lynn Harris


Stanley Bennett Clay - 2010
    Lynn Harris, bestselling authors and friends Terrance Dean, James Earl Hardy, and Stanley Bennett Clay honor him with sexy, original novellas in the genre he helped create--groundbreaking stories of black, gay men searching for love in a taboo world.

The Sense of Touch


Ron Parsons - 2013
    A brilliant but troubled Bangladeshi physics student searches for balance, acceptance, and his own extraordinary destiny after his father disappears. When a Halloween blizzard immobilizes Minneapolis, a young woman is forced to confront the snow-bound nature of her own relationships and emotions. During an excursion to an idyllic swimming hole hidden in the Black Hills, two old friends unexpectedly compete for the affections of an irresistible, though married, Lakota woman. Like a mythical expedition to reach the horizon or the quest to distill truth from the beauty around us, the revelation confirmed by these imaginative stories - elegant, sometimes jarring, always wonderfully absurd - is that the very act of reaching is itself a form of touch.“The quiet plains of the North Country serve as a perfect backdrop for Parsons’ moving debut, a collection of short stories whose characters often live deeply solitary, if not always lonely, lives.”-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“Eloquently written and replete with a continual stream of un-hackneyed twists and turns, Parsons’ collection is superbly crafted. Engaging, riveting, and at times, mind-boggling, The Sense of Touch is earmarked to become a literary classic.”-- San Francisco Book Review (five-star review)"Parsons has made himself a man to watch in the literary world. Each of these stories is as thrilling as the next."-- Portland Book Review (five-star review)"Each story is honed with purpose and infused with subtle energies. He creates delicate lines between the frigid cosmos and the warmth that can be generated among people. Parsons' writing has a strong pulse. This debut assortment heralds his promising career." -- The US Review of Books (Top-Rated Recommended Review)

Water Street


Crystal Wilkinson - 2005
    One story that the light of day shines on and the other that lives only in the pitch black of night, the kind of story that a person carries beneath their breastbones for safekeeping. WATER STREET examines the secret lives of neighbours and friends who live on Water Street in a small town in Kentucky. Assured and intimate, dealing with love, loss, truth and tragedy, Wilkinson weaves us in and out of the lives of Water Street's inhabitants.

Grindin'


Danielle Santiago - 2006
    Later that night, Kennedy gets a call that Nina is being beaten up by her boyfriend- again. Kennedy rushes over to help, but it's too late: Nina dies in Kennedy's arms after making her promise to take care of her children.Stepping up to the plate, Kennedy becomes the mother of three more kids and moves them into a Harlem brownstone. She knows she needs to refocus her life, and gets her chance when she meets Chaz, a successful hip-hop artist who sees star quality written all over her. She's offered the chance to become a rapper and leave the streets behind- or at least shift to another kind of grind. But once in the music world, Kennedy realizes that the setting may have changed, but the hustle remains the same.

Uncollected Volume One: Unreal, Unbelievable & Quirky Tales


Paul Jennings - 1998
    Here is a collection of twenty-six unreal, unbelievable and quirky tales that are wildly funny, outrageously strange, and shockingly scary by Australia's most popular author for children.

Training School for Negro Girls


Camille Acker - 2018
    In this debut collection of stories, each of them navigate life’s “training school”—with its lessons on gentrification and respectability—while fighting to create a vibrant sense of self in this love letter to Washington, DC.

Finding Viola: A Short Story


Bo Burnette - 2015
    When the strict Mrs. Borg demands she leave the door alone, Miss Erikson's curiosity propels her to uncover the secrets of the ever-closed door. As she pursues the source of the inexplicable music, she must finally face the grief of the past she has long tried to ignore.