R.O. Kwon has done us the great favor of listing out 46 books coming out by women of color in the new year. Kwon has her own first novel, The Incendiaries, to be published in July.
Our political situation drove this list making. The forces of division, brutality and scapegoating seem to be winning on too many days. Kwon writes, "Let’s read more broadly; let’s try inhabiting one another’s wildly varied, entirely human points of view. It’s late in 2017, and the situation’s desperate. If we can’t imagine one another, how will we get through these next few years?"
Kwon is on to something - a 2013 study revealed that reading literary fiction increases the reader's empathy, something we desperately need more of. Her list includes non-fiction as well, but it's all literary and from all over the world.
I've already pre-ordered When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele, a memoir of Patrisse's time as a cofounder of Black Lives Matter. I'm also looking forward to Poignant Song, Kavita Das' biography of Lakshmi Shankar, a brilliant musician who didn't get nearly as much recognition as her brother Ravi.