10 Classic Verse Novels

From Homer to Chaucer, verse narratives have been around for a long time. But with their musty canonical status and failure to represent any demographic that is not the straight white male, these classic works are best known for putting thousands and thousands of students off poetry. Enter the contemporary verse novel, a readable and accessible narrative form claimed by Black writers to tell representative stories about history, queerness, race, romance, coming of age, identity, and so much more.

15 Coming-of-Age Novels in English Translation

Black people are everywhere and there is no universal Black experience. From Brazil and Haiti to Rwanda and Madagascar, travel the world via this list of coming-of-age novels in English translation. This list spotlights 15 lesser-known coming-of-age novels in English translation, bringing together the stories of Black youths from all four corners and moving away from the dominance of Anglophone voices.

7 Historical Fiction Novels out in 2021

While Robert Jones Jr.'s The Prophets and Ladee Hubbard's The Rib King have been released to much critical acclaim, here are 7 lesser-known historical fiction novels that could do with a bit more buzz. Stories situated in Black history occupy a difficult position in the media landscape. On the one hand, the prevalence of slavery and other such trauma narratives evidences the market's appetite for Black pain. On the other, history is always told from the perspective of the hunter: "we need the lion to tell it as well", says a veteran of historical fiction and the author of Daughters of the Stone Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa. These are some of the many historical fiction novels out this year that tell our side of the story.