Goodreads Recommends 32 New Novels by Black Authors to Read Now

Vannessa Cronin on June 15, 2020
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Goodreads: 32 New Novels by Black Authors to Read Now

With talk turning to amplifying Black voices, people are looking to Black authors for their next great read. Goodreads editor Cybil Wallace has pulled together an impressive list of titles that fit the bill—all of which have publication dates in 2020—and we are delighted to be able to share it.

Goodreads editor, Cybil Wallace: Halfway through the year, 2020 has gifted readers with some amazing novels from Black writers. We rounded up this list of new fiction published across genres, including mystery, young adult, romance, fantasy, and science fiction for you to add to your Want to Read list.

Here you'll find some favorite authors, such as triple Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin and powerhouse wordsmith James McBride, as well as debut authors just beginning their careers, including Abi Daré, Kiley Reid, and Gabriel Bump.


Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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.


Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston

From “one of the greatest writers of our time” (Toni Morrison)—the author of Barracoon and Their Eyes Were Watching God—a collection of remarkable stories, including eight “lost” Harlem Renaissance tales now available to a wide audience for the first time.


Remembrance by Rita Woods

This breakout historical debut with modern resonance is perfect for the many fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.


Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi

Tochi Onyebuchi tackles youth, race, and the carceral state with magical flair in his adult science fiction debut, Riot Baby.


Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump

Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.


The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future.


Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham

Following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling’s search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life


The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother.


Real Life by Brandon Taylor

A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.


Trouble Is What I Do by Walter Mosley

Morally ambiguous P.I. Leonid McGill is back—and investigating crimes against society's most downtrodden—in this installment of the beloved detective series from an Edgar Award-winning and bestselling crime novelist.


So We Can Glow by Leesa Cross-Smith

A lush, glittering short story collection exploring female obsession and desire by an award-winning author Roxane Gay calls "a consummate storyteller."


Deacon King Kong by James McBride

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 2020: a wise and witty tale about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.


These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card

A transporting debut novel that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations, in the tradition of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.


Lakewood by Megan Giddings

A startling debut about class and race, Lakewood evokes a terrifying world of medical experimentation—part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Three-time Hugo Award-winning and bestselling author N.K. Jemisin crafts her most incredible novel yet, a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City.


It's Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

After a sudden change of plans, a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life—from the bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting to Exhale.


The Coyotes of Carthage by Steven Wright

A blistering and thrilling debut—a biting exploration of American politics, set in a small South Carolina town, about a political operative running a dark money campaign for his corporate clients.


The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland

Perfect for fans of The Mothers and Olive Kitteridge, in this stunning and perceptive debut novel three women learn what it means to come home—and to make peace with the family, love affairs, and memories they’d once left behind.


Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

A dazzling debut novel that sweeps across eras and generations to tell the story of a mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and the conjuring of curses.


Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

A gothic-infused debut of literary suspense, set within a secluded, elite university and following a dangerously curious, rebellious undergraduate who uncovers a shocking secret about an exclusive circle of students . . . and the dark truth beneath her school’s promise of prestige.


My Mother's House by Francesca Momplaisir

A literary thriller about the complex underbelly of the immigrant American dream and the dangerous ripple effect one person’s damages can have on the lives of others—told unexpectedly by a house that has held unspeakable horrors.


Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop.


Telephone by Percival Everett

A deeply affecting story about the lengths to which loss and grief will drive us, Telephone is a Percival Everett novel we should have seen coming all along, one that will shake you to the core as it asks questions about the power of narrative to save.


Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

A powerful novel in verse by award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo, about two sisters grieving the devastating loss of their father who learn about each other after his death and must grapple with what this bittersweet new bond means for them.


Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

From Stonewall and Lambda Award–winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.


Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

An epic, enthralling story set in the South Side of Chicago of a young woman determined to protect her best friend and a deadly secret that threatens to undermine both of their families.


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

From the bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.


You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Becky Albertalli meets Jenny Han in a smart, hilarious, black girl magic, own voices rom-com by a staggeringly talented new writer.


A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Legacies meets Nic Stone’s Dear Martin in Morrow’s YA fantasy debut: best friends discover their magical identities against today’s challenges facing young black girls.


Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But a chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that gets everyone talking.


Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral.


The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be "that" girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she's been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men and no dating.


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