books books books

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo, editor-at-large of The Establishment, is a trenchant, reliably insightful writer and thinker about race in America, and this collection is necessary reading. Her writing’s been compared to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s, Roxane Gay’s, and Jessica Valenti’s.


Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Nafissa Thompson-Spires brings to life a funeral singer, a suicidal girl, and middle-class mothers in this debut collection from Atria. Kelly Link says “the stories here are dazzling, wise, wicked, and tender,” and that the book’s a “knockout.”


Old in Art School by Nell Irvin Painter

Nell Irvin Painter is a visual artist and Princeton history professor whose teacher once told her she’d never be an “Artist.” In this intriguing memoir, she explores questions of what it is to be an “Artist,” capitalized, and of how the judgment of women would-be Artists can be affected by their looks, age, and race.


Everyday People: The Color of Life, edited by Jennifer Baker

Everyday People is the first fiction anthology in a long while from a big-five publisher featuring people of color and Native writers. Edited by Electric Lit contributing editor Jennifer Baker, the book includes Mia Alvar, Alexander Chee, Junot Díaz, Yiyun Li, Hasanthika Sirisena, Brandon Taylor, and other luminaries.


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