50 or So Books by Writers of Color, Recommended by Writers of Color

Looking for a list of good books to read? We have one for you.

In the summer of 2014, Barrelhouse and RAWI (The Radius of Arab American Writers) jointly sponsored an online fiction workshop led by Barrelhouse editor Susan Muaddi Darraj focusing on “writing about race and ethnicity.” Part of the impetus for the workshop was the growing awareness that writers of color often feel misunderstood and unappreciated in the typical MFA classroom

The online workshop filled quickly, and students enjoyed a lively atmosphere in which they critiqued their stories and novels-in-progress in a supportive atmosphere.

One question that arose in the discussion boards was: What writer of color influenced you and should be on a required reading list?

That list, generated by the instructor and several of the students follows below. Entries marked with an asterisk indicate writers who received multiple recommendations.

Susan will lead a general fiction online workshop beginning on October 6th. Details and registration are available here. Susan Muaddi Darraj is the author of The Inheritance of Exile, a short story collection that won ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. She is on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University MA in Writing program. Her forthcoming book, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named winner of the 2014 Grace Paley Award for Fiction by the AWP.  She is an editor at Barrelhouse magazine, and co-founder of the annual Conversations & Connections writers conference in Washington, DC.

Recommended by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Recommended by Preeti Kaur

Recommended by Sameena Usmani

Recommended by Sohrab Fracis

Recommended by May Kuroiwa