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Coming Soon: New African American Interest Books and Authors

Browse a variety of new books coming soon to the Denver Public Library.

April Fiction | April Nonfiction | March Fiction | March Nonfiction

April

Fiction:

Haiti Noir 2: The ClassicsHaiti Noir 2: The Classics
edited by Edwidge Danticat

The original best-selling Haiti Noir comprised all-new stories by today's best Haitian authors. This new volume collects the true classics of Haitian literature – both short stories and excerpts from longer works – and will be an integral piece of understanding how Haitian culture has evolved over the past fifty years.

All Our NamesAll Our Names
by Dinaw Mengestu

All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart – one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the beloved friend he left behind, the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.

Foreign Gods, Inc.Foreign Gods, Inc.
by Okey Ndibe

Foreign Gods, Inc., tells the story of Ike, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery. Ike's plan is fueled by desperation. Despite a degree in economics from a major American college, his strong accent has barred him from the corporate world. Forced to eke out a living as a cab driver, he is unable to manage the emotional and material needs of a temperamental African-American bride and a widowed mother demanding financial support. When he turns to gambling, his mounting losses compound his woes. And so he travels back to Nigeria to steal the statue, where he has to deal with old friends, family, and a mounting conflict between those in the village who worship the deity, and those who practice Christianity.

DustDust
by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

A novel that opens with a young man's murder on the day of the tumultuous 2007 election in Kenya, but then goes into the history of his family and of the splintered African nation around them – in scenes stretching back to a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s.

Nonfiction:

Louis Armstrong, Master of ModernismLouis Armstrong, Master of Modernism
by Thomas Brothers

Nearly 100 years after bursting onto Chicago's music scene under the tutelage of Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong is recognized as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. A trumpet virtuoso, seductive crooner, and consummate entertainer, Armstrong laid the foundation for the future of jazz with his stylistic innovations, but his story would be incomplete without examining how he struggled in a society seething with brutally racist ideologies, laws, and practices. Thomas Brothers picks up where he left off with the acclaimed Louis Armstrong's New Orleans, following the story of the great jazz musician into his most creatively fertile years in the 1920s and early 1930s, when Armstrong created not one but two modern musical styles.

Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First CenturyBlack Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century
by Monique W. Morris

With fascinating and often surprising information on everything from incarceration rates, lending practices, and the arts to marriage, voting habits, and green jobs, the contextualized material in this book will better attune readers to telling trends while challenging commonly held, yet often misguided, perceptions. A compilation that at once highlights measures of incredible progress and enumerates the disparate impacts of social policies and practices, this book is a critical tool for advocates, educators, and policy makers. Black Stats offers indispensable information that is sure to enlighten discussions and provoke debates about the quality of Black life in the United States today – and help chart the path to a better future.

The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern AfricaThe Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa
by Dayo Olopade

Africa is a continent on the move. It's often hard to notice, though – the western focus on governance and foreign aid obscures the individual dynamism and informal social adaptation driving the last decade of African development. Dayo Olopade set out across sub-Saharan Africa to find out how ordinary people are dealing with the challenges they face every day. She found an unexpected Africa: resilient, joyful, and innovative, a continent of DIY changemakers and impassioned community leaders. Everywhere Olopade went, she witnessed the specific creativity born from African difficulty – a trait she began calling kanju. Olopade shows us that the increasingly globalized challenges Africa faces can and must be addressed with the tools Africans are already using to solve these problems themselves. Africa's ability to do more with less – to transform bad aid and bad government into an opportunity to innovate – is a clear ray of hope amidst the dire headlines and a powerful model for the rest of the world.

Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980sShowtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s
by Jeff Pearlman

A dazzling account of one of America's greatest sports sagas, Showtime is packed with indelible characters, vicious rivalries, and jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes stories of the players' decadent Hollywood lifestyles. From the Showtime era's remarkable rise to its tragic end – marked by Magic Johnson's 1991 announcement that he had contracted HIV – Showtime is a gripping narrative of sports, celebrity, and 1980s-style excess.

Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of AmericaTomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America
by Joseph Tirella

In an epic narrative, Tomorrow-Land shows the astonishing pivots taken by New York City, America, and the world during the Fair. It fetched Disney's empire from California and Michelangelo's La Pieta from Europe; and displayed flickers of innovation from Ford, GM, and NASA – from undersea and outerspace colonies to personal computers. It housed the controversial work of Warhol (until Governor Rockefeller had it removed); and lured Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. Meanwhile, the Fair – and its house band, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians – sat in the musical shadows of the Beatles and Bob Dylan, who changed rock-and-roll right there in Queens. And as Southern civil rights efforts turned deadly, and violent protests also occurred in and around the Fair, Harlem-based Malcolm X predicted a frightening future of inner-city racial conflict.

Cathedral of the Wild: An African Journey HomeCathedral of the Wild: An African Journey Home
by Boyd Varty

Boyd Varty had an unconventional upbringing. He grew up on Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa, a place where man and nature strive for balance, where perils exist alongside wonders. Founded more than eighty years ago as a hunting ground, Londolozi was transformed into a nature reserve beginning in 1973 by Varty's father and uncle, visionaries of the restoration movement. But it wasn't just a sanctuary for the animals; it was also a place for ravaged land to flourish again and for the human spirit to be restored. When Nelson Mandela was released after twenty-seven years of imprisonment, he came to the reserve to recover. Cathedral of the Wild is Varty's memoir of his life in this exquisite and vast refuge.

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March

Fiction:

Bitter EdenBitter Eden
by Tatamkhulu Afrika

Bitter Eden is based on Tatamkhulu Afrika's own capture in North Africa and his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War II in Italy and Germany. This frank and beautifully wrought novel deals with three men who must negotiate the emotions that are brought to the surface by the physical closeness of survival in the male-only camps. The complex rituals of camp life and the strange loyalties and deep bonds among the men are heartbreakingly depicted.

Every Day Is for the ThiefEvery Day Is for the Thief
by Teju Cole

A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. He witnesses the “yahoo yahoo” diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet café, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market. Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself.

Bedrock FaithBedrock Faith
by Eric Charles May

After fourteen years in prison, Gerald "Stew Pot" Reeves, age thirty-one, returns home to live with his mom in Parkland, a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. A frightening delinquent before being sent away, his return sends Parkland residents into a religiously infused tailspin, which only increases when Stew Pot announces that he experienced a religious awakening in prison.

The Orchard of Lost SoulsThe Orchard of Lost Souls
by Nadifa Mohamed

Nine-year-old Deqo has left the vast refugee camp she was born in, lured to the city by the promise of her first pair of shoes. Kawsar, a solitary widow, is trapped in her little house with its garden clawed from the desert, confined to her bed after a savage beating in the local police station. Filsan, a young female soldier, has moved from Mogadishu to suppress the rebellion growing in the north. And as the country is unraveled by a civil war that will shock the world, the fates of the three women are twisted irrevocably together.

Nonfiction:

Driven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys On and Off Lambeau FieldDriven: From Homeless to Hero, My Journeys On and Off Lambeau Field
by Donald Driver

 When he was picked in the seventh-round of 1999 NFL draft, Donald Driver couldn't find Green Bay on a map. He was given little chance of making the Packers roster, much less of amassing over 10,000 yards in his career and becoming a Super Bowl champion. But in an unlikely journey, Driver has overcome obstacle after obstacle to become one of the most successful players in the NFL.

Losing to WinLosing to Win
by Michele Grant

The small town of Belle Haven, Louisiana, is still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill, and its residents will do whatever it takes to get it back on its feet. So when local English teacher Carissa Melody Wayne is asked to appear on the weight-loss reality show Losing to Win, she agrees. She doesn't realize that others from her past will be joining her, including her high school nemesis, an acquaintance who's been nursing a long-time crush on her – and most shocking of all, Carissa's ex-fiancé, former NFL star Malachi Knight. As Carissa's group is split into pairs to compete in a series of challenges, she finds herself at the mercy of the chaotic Hollywood crew and cast members, and her own unfinished business.

Strange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. ButlerStrange Matings: Science Fiction, Feminism, African American Voices, and Octavia E. Butler
edited by Rebecca J. Holden and Nisi Shawl

Strange Matings seeks to continue Butler's uncomfortable insights about humanity, and also to instigate new conversations about Butler and her work conversations that encourage academic voices to 'talk' to the private voices, the poetic voices to answer the analytic. How did her work affect conceptions of what science fiction is and could be? How did her portrayals of African Americans challenge accepted assumptions and affect others writing in the field? In what ways did her commitment to issues of race and gender express itself? In what ways did Butler inspire other writers and change the 'face' of science fiction? How did she 'queer' science fiction? In what ways did she inspire us and motivate us take up difficult subjects and tasks? In other words, what is her legacy?

Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1, 1970s-1981Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 1, 1970s-1981
by Ed Piskor

Piskor's exuberant yet controlled cartooning takes you from the parks and rec rooms of the South Bronx to the night clubs, recording studios, and radio stations where the scene started to boom, capturing the flavor of late-1970s New York City in panels bursting with obsessively authentic detail. The technical innovations, the triumphs and failures are all thoroughly researched and lovingly depicted, plus the charismatic players behind the scenes like Russell Simmons, Sylvia Robinson and then-punker Rick Rubin. Piskor also traces graffiti master Fab 5 Freddy's rise in the art world, and Debbie Harry, Keith Haring, The Clash, and other luminaries make cameos as the music and culture begin to penetrate downtown Manhattan and the mainstream at large. 

The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss – Up to 10 Pounds in 21 DaysThe 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss – Up to 10 Pounds in 21 Days
by Dolvett Quince

Want to finally lose the weight and keep it off? Want to be able to eat the foods you love? Reaching your goals can only happen when you don't feel deprived and you continue to stay motivated. Now, celebrity trainer and star of the hit reality series The Biggest Loser, Dolvett Quince, tells you how to do all of that and more in his revolutionary program. This 21-day program works by manipulating your body's natural tendency to slow its metabolic rate in response to calorie restriction.

A History of Namibia: From the Beginning to 1990A History of Namibia: From the Beginning to 1990
by Marion Wallace

In 1990 Namibia gained its independence after a decades-long struggle against South African rule – and, before that, against German colonialism. This book, the first new scholarly general history of Namibia in two decades, provides a fresh synthesis of these events, and of the much longer pre-colonial period.

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