Walter Mosley and more
As we continue our recommendations for a literary summer, we didn't want to overlook these picks by Felicia Pride in Unisun, a bimonthly publication of The Sun. All are by black authors.
The Tempest Tales, by Walter Mosley. (Black Classic Press / May 2008 / $19.95) Mosley saddened many fans when he announced that he was concluding his famed Easy Rawlins series. But he has created another unforgettable hero. Meet Tempest Landry, a street-smart, "dedicated Harlemite" who, after being accidentally shot and killed by the police, ends up condemned to hell. After challenging St. Peter's order, he is sent back to Earth with an angel whose sole purpose is to persuade Tempest to accept his judgment. Mosley's book, published by Baltimore-based Black Classic Press, was selected as an Essence magazine book-club pick.
Getting Even by ReShonda Tate Billingsley. (Pocket Books / April 2008 / $9.95) Billingsley, an Essence best-selling Christian-fiction author, introduces the fourth installment in her Good Girlz series for teens. Getting Even follows best friends Camille, Jasmine, Alexis and Angel on a journey dealing with boy trouble, jealously and forgiveness. The series has been lauded by parents, librarians and educators.
Miss Muriel and Other Stories by Ann Petry. (Dafina / April 2008 / $15) Known mainly for her best-selling novel The Street, Petry had a knack for capturing the complexity of the black experience. She illustrated her unique skill in this recently re-released collection. Originally published in 1971, the 13 stories explore a diverse mix of black lives during the 1950s and 1960s. By illuminating the trials and tribulations of characters like a junk dealer and high school English teacher, Petry uses the power of words to strengthen the threads of humanity.
Blood Colony by Tananarive Due. (Atria / June 2008 / $25) With her eighth novel, Due proves once again why she's one of the most imaginative writers of her generation. Her writing has spanned from the supernatural to the mysterious and historical. In her latest offering, she expertly mixes genres and intertwines socio-political issues into the framework of a story about a group of ancient African immortals who are battling to end the AIDS/HIV epidemic. Like the late, great Octavia Butler, Due fearlessly tackles contemporary issues.
Moving Up: Dr. Sujay's Ten Steps to Turning Your Life Around and Getting to the Top! by Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook. (Doubleday / May 2008 / $19.95) Cook, aka Dr. Sujay, faith leader, businesswoman and political mover and shaker, has penned an inspirational guide to show readers that life's obstacles should be viewed as opportunities to rise to the occasion and move up. Her guide outlines 10 steps that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke. (Little Brown and Co. / July 2008 / $24.99) After achieving international success with her debut novel, River, Cross My Heart, which was an Oprah book-club pick, Clarke has returned with a gripping novel about a family's heart-wrenching journey out of slavery. The Coatses managed to purchase their freedom only to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles trying to establish a new life in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood.
Pride reads, writes, blogs and critiques books on her Web site, www.feliciapride.com