Black women writers are showcasing their talents this July! They’ve released works across different genres and that are giving readers stories in traditional formats but rendered through their own unique perspectives. This month, 21Ninety has put together a list of books from Black female writers across a vast collection of genres from romance to literary fiction, classic romance to short story collections. The stories here explore topical issues such as being Black and Muslim in America, the stories are also situated in themes of love and romance. But no matter what they explore, these books provide a look into how and what Black women are thinking, talking and caring about.
“Trinity: A Novel” by Zelda Lockhart – July 4
“Trinity” by Zelda Lockhart is a thrilling work of fiction that seamlessly melds the supernatural with the real. The book follows the titular character, Trinity “the daughter-spirit born to stitch love back into the scattered wombs of her Black mothers and call love back into the fishing blues songs of her Black male kin.” The book centers around repairing old mistakes and ancestral connections.
“Temple Folk” by Aaliyah Bilal – July 4
“Temple Folk” by Aaliyah Bilal is a timely short story collection that takes a nuanced look into what it means to be Black and Muslim in America. The collection follows Black Muslim characters as they navigate questions of faith, freedom, and family. According to its official blurb, “The ten stories in this collection contribute to the bounty of diverse narratives about Black life by intimately portraying the experiences of a community that resists the mainstream culture to which they are expected to accept and aspire to while functioning within the country in which they are born.”
“Queen of Exiles” by Vanessa Riley – July 11
Vanessa Riley has grown to become a critically acclaimed historical fiction writer and in her latest offering, she continues the Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid lore. Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid is an extraordinary woman and was Haiti’s queen before escaping a coup and setting up in the high society in Europe.
“Queen of Exiles is the tale of a remarkable Black woman of history—a canny and bold survivor who chooses the fire and ideals of political struggle, and then is forced to rebuild her life on her own terms, forever a queen,” the book’s blurb reads.
Fans of “Bridgerton” will find this book especially riveting.
“My Week With Him” by Joya Goffney – July 11
“My Week With Him” is a new friends-to-lovers YA romance novel from Joya Goffney. The book follows the characters Nikki and Mal as they discover a new side to their friendship. The book unpacks themes of complex family drama, friendship, love and the cost of expensive dreams.
“A Song of Salvation” by Alechia Dow – July 11
Alechia Dow’s “A Song of Salvation” is a YA space opera that sees a reincarnated god and a grumpy pilot set out to save a beloved space dj. The book takes readers on a wide, intergalactic ride as the characters aim to stop a disastrous war.
“The Duchess Effect” by Tracey Livesay – July 11
The Duchess Effect by contemporary writer Tracey Livesay maps out a complicated love story and what it means to love when one is a public figure. The lead characters, “Dani and Jameson truly love each other. But under the scrutiny of the international spotlight, when the doubts, compromises, and secrets begin to take their toll, will their love be enough?”