6 works of Canadian fiction to read for Black History Month 2019
These six works of fiction by black Canadian authors highlight the diversity of the national literature scene.
Nearly a year after his parents' death, botanist Alfred Homer agrees to go on a research road trip with Professor Morgan Bruno, an old family friend. As the sun sets, the two depart in search of an obscure, possibly dead poet named John Skennen and encounter a host of oddities in the gothic underworld of southern Ontario. Days by Moonlight is the fourth book in André Alexis's acclaimed quincunx, which includes the Scotiabank Giller Prize and Canada Reads winner Fifteen Dogs.
The latest novel by award-winning poet and novelist Dionne Brand explores the nature of today's society. The unnamed narrator of Theory is constructing an all-encompassing thesis on the past, present and future of art, culture, race, gender, class and politics. Their dissertation is inevitably impacted by three passionate love affairs, one following the other, which each re-shape and reorient the narrator's life and work.
Esi Edugyan's Washington Black tells the story of 11-year-old Washington Black, a slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. His master is Englishman Christopher Wilde, who is obsessed with developing a machine that can fly. The two develop a bond, but when a man is killed, Wilde must choose between his family and saving Washington's life — and the choice results in an unforgettable adventure around the world.
Emerging author Djamila Ibrahim's debut collection of short stories looks at the migrant experience from various angles. Set in East Africa, the Middle East, Canada and the U.S., Things Are Good Now examines themes of displacement, hardship and disillusionment. Ibrahim, an Ethiopian-born writer who moved to Canada in 1990, was named a black Canadian writer to watch in 2018 by CBC Books.
Kagiso Lesego Molope is an Ottawa-based author who was raised in South Africa. In Such a Lonely, Lovely Road, Kabelo Mosala is a young man growing up in South Africa. He's an upstanding citizen in every sense and dreams of working at his father's medical practice someday. But Kabelo has a secret: he's in love with his friend, Sediba. They form a strong bond as they grow up, but Kabelo struggles to come out to his community, which is in the grips of an increasingly urgent AIDS crisis.
Reproduction is Brampton, Ont.-raised author Ian Williams's debut novel, following his Griffin Poetry Prize-nominated poetry collection Personals and award-winning short fiction collection Not Anyone's Anything. When Felicia and her teenage son Army move into a basement apartment, they bond with the house's owner and his two children. But strange gifts from Army's wealthy, absent father begin to arrive at their doorstep, inviting new tensions into the makeshift family's lives.