“God Help the Child” and 2 Other Books by People of Color to Enjoy this Summer

Toni Morrison

Summer is officially here. For many of us, the word “summer” conjures images of the pool, beach, gnats, cookouts, dog hot days, and summer reading. What better way to spend your hot summer nights than to have a good book in your hand? Don’t know what to read—well, Tribe has you covered. Here are several new and forthcoming titles by people of color that are sure to keep you entertained and informed.

D. Watkins, “The Beastside”

Hailing from Baltimore, Watkins is the new kid on the block. He created a buzz when his essay “Too Poor for Pop Culture” was featured in “Salon” last year. In his riveting essay, Watkins exposes how class and race intertwine in American society. When reading his essay, you can imagine being in a cramped room playing cards with Watkins and his homeboys.

The Beastside, a collection of essays, is the first title of the Hot Boys imprint, which is dedicated to publishing non-fiction investigative titles that are around 40,000 words long. Based upon the vividness of his essays, I’m pretty sure Watkins’ books will not disappoint.

Watkins has two upcoming books: “The Beastside: Living (and Dying) while Black in America” (Skyhorse, August 2015) and his memoir “Cook Up” (Grand Central, 2016).


Toni Morrison, “God Help the Child”

Morrison made her splash on the literary scene with “The Bluest Eye,” which was published in 1970 and selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 2000. Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Fast forward to 2015 and the 83-year-old is still slaying the page with a pen. Although the reviews for the book have been mixed, the critics agree that Morrison is a masterful storyteller and weaver of words.

Kirsten Valdez Quade, “Night at the Fiestas: Stories”

Quade received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation in 2014. “Night at the Fiestas” is a short story collection that deals with faith.

In an interview with NPR, Quade says, “Certainly I think one of the reasons I’m interested in faith is that faith is so much about longing. It’s about longing for transcendence, it’s longing to be closer to the infinite and longing to connect with others; it’s about empathy. And I think that’s also the project of fiction. Fiction is about longing and empathy.”

Two of Quade’s riveting short stories appeared in the “New Yorker:” “Ordinary Sins” and “The Five Wounds.”
Needless to say, summer reading is important. Great writing will transport the reader to either familiar places or unknown territories. Although we can never walk in another’s person shoes, through the act of reading, we are briefly able to see the world through another person’s lens.

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