10 Books by Black Writers that Expanded My Sense of the Possible

The winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Debut Novel Prize reflects on her literary predecessors.


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Above is a list of ten black fiction writers whose work influenced my writing by expanding my sense of what was possible to do with language. For the purposes of this list, I’ve confined myself to writers of fiction whose books I read when I was still trying to figure out what kind of writer I wanted to be. They are all “classics.” There are many other books I’ve read since that I wish I had read when I was younger; I’m also indebted to the books listed here for encouraging me to seek out those other authors.

Author Photo: Vilma Samulionyte

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Ladee Hubbard

LADEE HUBBARD is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.

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