Reading books by Caribbean authors should be something we strive to do all year long. June is designated as National Caribbean American Heritage Month, and it is a great time to add some Caribbean books to your bookshelves.
This list is only a jumping-off point to help broaden your perspective, as well as your reading list. There is a lot of variety here, and I hope you will find and enjoy a new book!
Augustown by Kei Miller
Vividly bringing to life Jamaica in the 1980s, Augustown follows one family’s struggle to rise above the brutal vicissitudes of history, race, class, collective memory, violence, and myth.
These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
A novel that reveals the ways in which a Jamaican family forms and fractures over generations.
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull
An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose.
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
A murder mystery that travels across the Atlantic and through the darkest channels of history. A brilliant, searing depiction of race, class, and oppression that penetrates the skin and sears the soul, it is the story of a woman of her own making in a world that would see her unmade.
Facing the Sun Janice Lynn Mather
A novel about four friends who experience unexpected changes in their lives during the summer when a hotel developer purchases their community’s beloved beach.
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
A novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.
Love After Love by Ingrid Persad
In vibrant, addictive Trinidadian prose, Love After Love questions who and how we love, the obligations of family, and the consequences of choices made in desperation.
The Mother’s House by Francesca Momplaisir
When Lucien flees Haiti with his wife, Marie-Ange, and their three children to New York City’s South Ozone Park, he does so hoping for reinvention, wealth, and comfort.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
A novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time.
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite
A powerful depiction of family legacies and secrets and a beautiful story of a teenage girl coming to accept the things she can’t change and learning to hold onto the moments she has.
Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta
Set in a neighbourhood known as “Little Jamaica,” Frying Plantain follows one young girl from elementary school to high school graduation as she navigates the tensions between mothers and daughters, second-generation immigrants and first-generation cultural expectations, and Black identity and predominantly white society.
Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark
A dark fantasy historical novella that gives a supernatural twist to the Ku Klux Klan’s reign of terror.
The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
Two sisters are suddenly sent from their home in Brooklyn to Barbados to live with their grandmother after their mother can no longer care for them.
One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie
A fun, fresh, timely debut novel about the uproarious adventures that befall the Palacio family during their disastrous illegal residence in Trinidad that poignantly captures the complexities of dysfunctional families and passionate (but sometimes messy) romance.