After my disappointment over Sue Monk Kidd being a white lady, I did a quick google search for “historical fiction written by poc” and I am so thrilled to have found an awesome list by Marilyn at Me, You, and Books.
Here is her list of historical fiction, memoirs, and mysteries by people of color, mostly women of color. WOW. I am SO GLAD that google brought me to her blog. I am blown away by her knowledge, breadth of reading, writing style… I pretty much want to read each one of her recommendations, and start a fan club for the lady herself…., here are just a few books from the list that caught my eye and are going straight onto my “to read next” list:
The Moor’s Account, by Laila Lalami. A fine retelling of the story of Cabez de Vaca and three other survivors who explored the southwestern United States in the 1500s, as told by a Moroccan author from the perspective of Estaban/Mustafa, a slave.
Evening is the Whole Day, by Preeta Samrasan. An intricate novel about a family of Indian descent in post-colonial Malaysia; a family, like their country, full of secrets, anger and long-held resentments.
The Palace Walk, by Naguib Mahfouz. A novel about a family in Cairo at the time of World War I by the first Arab writer to win the Noble Prize in Literature.
Black Star Nairobi, by Mukoma Wa Ngugi. A detective story set against the backdrop of violence in Kenya that raises political and moral questions about “doing good.”
A Far Horizon, by Meira Chand. An historical novel set in Calcutta in 1756 about events in the British colony leading up to its conquest and destruction by a native ruler.
Ancestor Stones, by Aminatta Forna. The interwoven stories of four wives of the same man in West Africa whose lives span the twentieth century.
I left the links active to Marilyn’s magnificent reviews – I just went down the rabbit hole of her blog, I am LOVING every post, and have some overlap of books with her… I’m a little obsessed to say the least.
For me, reading is about exploring the world both past and present, and trying to soak in as much as I can. I don’t need to steep myself in the world I already know and experience. I want to push the boundaries of my perspective and experience by purposefully seeking out perspectives that are different, that challenge me, that shake up my world, that even contradict what I know. I hope you guys do, too.