Share 14 Books by Diverse Authors You Need to Read Right Now

14 Books by Diverse Authors You Need to Read Right Now

Taylor Noel started working for Scribner’s publicity department in 2015. She interned at Algonquin Books and Folio Literary Management while completing her studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor tends to read mostly literary fiction and memoirs, but will also dabble in upmarket commercial fiction with historical, transcultural, or apocalyptic settings, as well as popular young adult. You can find her on Instagram @books_with_taylor.

Part of the magic of books is discovering new places, new cultures, new perspectives, and new characters that change the way we think about and interact with the world. These 14 remarkable contemporary novels by a diverse group of authors will introduce you to a plethora of eye-opening experiences and will greatly enrich your literary diet.


Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
BEHOLD THE DREAMERS is the compassionate and illuminating story of a Cameroonian immigrant hungry for the American Dream but struggling to make ends meet in Harlem with his wife at the start of the Great Recession. When the financial world crashes, their lives are dramatically upended, and Jende and Neni must choose between their dreams, each other, and survival.

Orhan's Inheritance
by Aline Ohanesian

Moving between the Armenian Genocide during the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, ORHAN’S INHERITANCE is a lyrical and passionate novel about a young man who sets out to understand why his grandfather left his inheritance to a stranger thousands of miles away.


The Turner House
by Angela Flournoy
A major new contribution to the American family narrative, THE TURNER HOUSE is the story of one abandoned house on Detroit’s East Side and the 13 siblings who have to decide what to do with it when their matriarch falls ill.

Girl at War
by Sara Nović
Sara Nović is a deaf writer whose beautiful and unflinching novel, GIRL AT WAR, tells the story of a ten-year-old girl trying to make sense of the world when war breaks out in Croatia in early 1990, and ethnic lines begin to divide families and friendships.

Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

Inspired by Nigeria’s folktales as well as its war, UNDER THE UDALA TREES is a powerful novel about a girl who is sent away to safety and falls in love with another displaced girl. Neither of their ethnic communities accepts their love and they are forced to learn the price of living a lie.


The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
by Mira Jacob

In this sprawling and engrossing journey, Amina reluctantly returns home when she discovers that her father is facing a terminal illness. But when she arrives, she is forced to confront her family’s painful past. Moving forward and backward in time and from India to New Mexico to Seattle, THE SLEEPWALKER’S GUIDE TO DANCING is refreshingly witty and is told with a nuanced touch.


The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi

Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi’s powerful novel is about a young woman in 2007 Kabul who takes advantage of an ancient custom in order to dress and be treated like a boy until she is of marriageable age—a custom her grandmother invoked a century earlier to save her own life. A testament to the disparity of gender roles, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL is a perplexing look at the ongoing struggles of Afghan women.


The Residue Years
by Mitchell S. Jackson

This story of a mother trying to stay clean and her son, who begins selling crack to support his mom and siblings, is in part based on Mitchell S. Jackson’s experience growing up black in Portland, Oregon (also known as America’s whitest city). A commanding meditation on social judgment, THE RESIDUE YEARS is utterly commanding and a force to be reckoned with.


The Reluctant Fundamentalist
by Mohsin Hamid
In a café in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man tells an uneasy American stranger his life story—from immigrating to America to attend Princeton to working an elite valuation job in New York to his romance with a gorgeous high-society woman to his inability to cope with the aftermath of 9/11 to his exile back to Pakistan. THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST is fierce and all-consuming.

Next Year, for Sure
by Zoey Leigh Peterson

NEXT YEAR FOR SURE chronicles the tumultuous and often funny year in which a longtime couple experiments with a nontraditional relationship when loneliness persists in the unlit corners of their lives. This fresh novel by Zoey Leigh Peterson, a transgender woman, is imbued with deep humanity.


Forgotten Country
by Catherine Chung

Weaving Korean myth and modern love, FORGOTTEN COUNTRY is a lush and elegant story of identity, immigration, and familial obligation framed by a family that loses a daughter in every generation.


We Love You, Charlie Freeman
by Kaitlyn Greenidge

When the Freeman family moves into a campus apartment at the Toneybee Institute, they are assigned to teach their housemate, a chimp named Charlie, sign language (which they all know). But as an African American family, they find themselves isolated in the all-white community of the Institute. WE LOVE YOU, CHARLIE FREEMAN is a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a way to talk about race.


Umami
by Laia Jufresa

Deep in the heart of Mexico City, Ana copes with the mysterious death of her younger sister and plants a “milpa” (a corn crop) in her backyard—an act that dredges up the grief, secrets, and haunting questions of her neighbors’ pasts as well as her own. UMAMI is a dazzlingly inventive and immersive portrayal of life in contemporary Mexico.


Here Comes the Sun
by Nicole Dennis-Benn
A lyrical and tender hymn to the Jamaican life, HERE COMES THE SUN follows Margot as she works as both a maid and a prostitute at an extravagant resort so she can shield her younger sister from the same fate and send her to school. When the development of a new hotel threatens the community and Margot’s job, everyone is forced to reconsider their choices and confront long-hidden scars.

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