The definition of African American writers still stalks controversy. Some want to define them by the color of their skin while others focus on their content. This has not stopped a range of African American fiction writers from producing captivating stories that are admired worldwide. They have captivated the minds of readers, become best sellers and received numerous awards in the process. Here are some of them.
Jeffery Allen captures the story of a blind slave called Tom in a book Song of the Shank to stem his authority in fictional writing. This is an ambitious book exploring the themes of love, family and identity. The language and structure are very inventive and purposeful. The assembly is comparable to Ulysses. The novel is brilliant and perfectly captures the world today.
Mangestu Dinaw begins his story in Uganda during post-colonial struggles and upheavals. He uses two characters in search of safety a university in the city of Kampala. Dinaw then transfers the setting to Midwest America where the two migrate in search of a better life. The narrative by Dinaw is a tale of freedom, survival and loyalty. It is told in very energetic and elegant prose. The author is a recipient of MacArthur Genius Grant.
Roxane Gay is known for her sensitive yet powerful prose. In An Untamed State, Gay tells the story of a young wife and mother by the name Duval Jameson. She is young, a mother and a wife, captured and held hostage in Haiti, her homeland. Her father, though endowed refuses to pay the ransom. This story shows how women face troubles when used as pawns by men. It tells the different phases of life before and after such ordeals.
Nuruddin Farah gives the reader a story of Bella, an acclaimed artist who loses his brother to suicide bombing. In Hiding in Plain Sight, Farah talks about losses by families during wars and the struggle for redemption. Bella has to abandon her career when she received the news of the death of her brother during a magazine cover photo shoot. It is a sacrifice as she has to take care of her young nephew and niece.
Fictional satire seems to be the driving force behind Foreign Gods, Inc. By Okey Ndibe. Ike is a taxi driver in New York who dreams of riches. His idea of getting there is by stealing a statue of a god from his Nigerian tribe and selling it in a Manhattan art exhibition. This is a satirical commentary on how American society has commercialized exotic gods.
Cynthia Bond takes you back to 1963 in her book Ruby: A Novel. Her story is that of a defeated girl returning to Liberty in Texas. She is far different from the energetic and hopeful belle who departed from New York in search of her mother and good life. The reception by men varies from that by women. Men ridicule her while women are charitable. It is a collection of the kindnesses and hurts of life.
The list of excellent Afro-American writers is endless. Other notable names include Helen Oyeyemi, James Marlon, Cole Teju and Ambani Chris. They are joined by Jacinda Townsend and Tiphanie Yanique in the list of excellent writers to watch. Two outstanding titles to mention are A Brief History of Seven Killings and Every Day is for the Thief.
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Author: Elizabeth FosterThis author has published 1 articles so far.