100+ African-American Writers (Mostly Fiction)

The list starts with the author, then his or her primary style, and then the best book to start with.

  • Rochelle Alers -- Romance; Welcome to Leo’s
  • Maya Angelou -- Memoirs, Poetry; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Tina McElroy-Ansa -- Magic Realism; Baby of the Family
  • Michael Baisden --Contemporary/Erotic; God’s Gift to Women
  • James Baldwin -- Biographical Novels;Go Tell It on the Mountain
  • Toni Cade Bambara -- Short Stories; Gorilla, My Love
  • Paul Beatty -- Contemporary Humor; The White Boy Shuffle
  • Bertice Berry -- Contemporary Fiction; Redemption Song
  • Venise Berry -- Contemporary Fiction; All of Me: a Voluptuous Tale
  • Eleanor Taylor Bland -- Mystery; Dead Time
  • Michele Andrea Bowen -- Contemporary Religious Life; Church Folk
  • Connie Briscoe -- Contemporary Fiction; Big Girls Don’t Cry
  • Gwendolyn Brooks -- Poetry; Contemporary; Maud Martha (novel)
  • Anita R. Bunkley -- Various; Black Gold
  • Octavia Butler -- Science Fiction; Parable of the Sower
  • Tajuana Butler -- Contemporary Young Women; Hand-Me-Down Heartache
  • Bebe Moore Campbell -- Literary Fiction; Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine
  • Lorene Cary -- Literary Fiction; The Price of a Child
  • Barbara Chase-Riboud -- Historical Fiction; Sally Hemings: a Novel
  • Maxine Clair -- Literary Fiction; October Suite
  • Pearl Cleage -- Contemporary Fiction; What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day
  • J. California Cooper -- Short Stories; Homemade Love
  • Edwidge Danticat -- Literary Fiction; Breath, Eyes, Memory
  • Christopher Darden -- Legal Thrillers; The Last Defense
  • Virginia DeBerry -- Contemporary Fiction; Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made
  • Samuel R. Delaney -- Science Fiction; Dhalgren
  • Nora DeLoach -- Mystery; Mama Traps a Killer
  • Eric Jerome Dickey -- Contemporary Fiction; Sister, Sister
  • Rita Dove -- Poetry; Selected Poems
  • Tananarive Due -- Horror; My Soul to Keep
  • Ralph Ellison -- Literary Fiction; Invisible Man
  • Lynn Emery -- Romance; Tell Me Something Good
  • Percival Everett -- Literary Fiction; Erasure
  • Lolita Files -- Contemporary Fiction; Scenes From a Sistah
  • Gwynne Forster -- Romance; Against the Wind
  • Sharon Ewell Foster -- Contemporary Christian; Passing By Samaria
  • Ernest Gaines -- Literary Fiction; A Prayer Before Dying
  • Nelson George -- Urban Romance, Hip Hop; Night Work
  • Donald Goines -- Urban Thrillers; Black Girl Lost
  • Alex Haley -- Family Sagas; Roots
  • Gary Hardwick -- Mystery; Cold Medina
  • E. Lynn Harris -- Literary Romance; Gay Culture; Invisible Life
  • Gar Anthony Haywood -- Hard Boiled Mysteries; Going Nowhere Fast
  • Donna Hill -- Romance; Contemporary; Rhythms
  • Chester Himes -- Hard Boiled Mysteries; Cotton Comes to Harlem
  • Shannon Holmes -- Contemporary Fiction; B-More Careful
  • Hugh Holton -- Mystery; Presumed Dead
  • Nalo Hopkinson -- Caribbean Sci-Fi and Fantasy; Midnight Robber
  • Langston Hughes -- Poetry; Short Stories; The Big Sea (Autobiography)
  • Zora Neale Hurston -- Literary Fiction;Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Sheneska Jackson -- Contemporary Fiction; Lil’ Mama’s Rules
  • Yolanda Joe -- Literary Fiction; The Hatwearer’s Lesson
  • Charles Johnson -- Literary Fiction; Middle Passage
  • Darlene Johnson -- Contemporary Fiction; Dream in Color
  • Guy Johnson -- Historical Fiction; Standing at the Scratch Line
  • R.M. Johnson -- Contemporary Fiction; Dating Games
  • Margaret Johnson-Hodge -- Urban Romance; Butterscotch Blues
  • Gayl Jones -- Literary Fiction; Corregidora
  • Jamaica Kincaid -- Literary Fiction; Annie John
  • Sandra Kitt -- Romance; Suddenly
  • Kristin Hunter Lattany -- Literary Romance; Kinfolks
  • Benilde Little -- Contemporary Fiction; Good Hair
  • Marcus Major -- Urban Romance; Good Peoples
  • Paule Marshall -- Literary Fiction; The Chosen Place, The Timeless People
  • Timmothy B. McCann -- Contemporary Fiction; Forever
  • Bernice L. McFadden -- Literary Fiction; Sugar
  • Terry McMillan -- Contemporary Fiction; Waiting to Exhale
  • Penny Mickelbury -- Mystery; One Must Wait
  • Karen E. Quinones Miller -- Contemporary Fiction; Satin Doll
  • Mary Monroe -- Contemporary Fiction; The Upper Room
  • Marissa Monteilh -- Urban Romance; May December Souls
  • Mary B. Morrison -- Contemporary Fiction; He’s Just a Friend
  • Toni Morrison -- Literary Fiction; Song of Solomon
  • Walter Mosley -- Mystery; Devil in a Blue Dress
  • Gloria Naylor -- Literary Fiction; The Women of Brewster Place
  • Barbara Neely -- Mystery; Blanche on the Lam
  • Alexs D. Pate -- Literary Fiction; Finding Makeba
  • Kayla Perrin -- Romance; The Best Man
  • Ann Petry -- Literary Fiction; The Narrows
  • Ishmael Reed -- Satire; The Terrible Twos
  • Maryann Reid -- Urban Romance; Use Me or Lose Me
  • Patty Rice -- Contemporary Fiction; Somethin’ Extra
  • C. Kelly Robinson -- Contemporary Fiction; Between Brothers
  • Kimberla Lawson Roby -- Contemporary Fiction; Casting the First Stone
  • Dori Sanders -- Young Women; Clover
  • April Sinclair -- Contemporary Fiction; Coffee Will Make You Black
  • Camika Spencer -- Contemporary Fiction; When All Hell Breaks Loose
  • Susan Straight -- Contemporary Fiction; I Been in Sorrow’s Kitchen and Licked Out All the Pots
  • Trisha Thomas -- Contemporary Fiction; Nappily Ever After
  • Wallace Thurman -- Literary Fiction; The Blacker the Berry…
  • Jean Toomer -- Literary Fiction; Cane
  • Omar Tyree -- Contemporary Fiction; Flyy Girl
  • Alice Walker -- Literary Fiction; The Color Purple
  • Carl Weber -- Urban Romance; Baby Momma Drama
  • John Edgar Wideman -- Literary Fiction; Philadelphia Fire
  • Valerie Wilson Wesley -- Mystery; When Death Comes Stealing
  • Colson Whitehead -- Literary Fiction; The Intuitionist
  • Van Whitfield -- Contemporary Humor; Something’s Wrong With Your Scale!
  • August Wilson -- Plays; Fences
  • Paula L. Woods -- Mystery; Inner City Blues
  • Richard Wright -- Literary Fiction; Native Son
  • Shay Youngblood -- Contemporary Fiction; Soul Kiss
  • Zane -- Urban Romance, Erotica, Addicted