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African American Fiction by Local Authors

Enjoy these fiction titles written by authors who grew up or lived in Pittsburgh.

 

Brothers and Sisters

Set in Los Angeles in the aftermath of the Rodney King events, Moore's story focuses on Esther. Esther has moved up the corporate ladder but now finds herself with limited opportunities due to her race and gender. Moore is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and spent time teaching elementary school in the Pittsburgh area.

 

Billy

A ten-year-old black boy in Mississippi is charged, convicted, and executed for the murder of a white girl in the 1930s. French was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and returned after fighting in Vietnam.

 

I Can't Wait on God

A couple strives to escape the poverty of a Pittsburgh ghetto and head to New York City, but a violent crime one day in 1950 forces them to leave sooner than they expected.

 

Magic City

Inspired by the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, this novel of African Americans who are wrongly accused of crimes explores race relations and includes elements of the mystical and spiritual. Parker was born and raised by her grandmother in Manchester and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau

Parker writes of the life of a young girl in New Orleans, who feels drawn to become a voodoo priestess. However, her grandmother seeks to protect her from the ghosts of her ancestors. This is the first novel of a trilogy.

 

Briefs: Stories for the Palm of the Mind

Containing a wide variety of story structures and tones and a broad array of geographical settings, this collection includes episodes from Wideman's life as well as some of his own musings. Wideman grew up in Homewood.

 

The Homewood Books

This collection of stories and novels, known as The Homewood Trilogy, portrays the lives of characters in Homewood, where Wideman was raised during the 1940s and 1950s. Through these stories the reader witnesses the strengths of the people in the community despite the needs they face.