NEW YORK - This year's selection of best books of 2010 presents an eclectic mix of writers from the African Diaspora.
When Mosaic, a 13-year old literary magazine focused on writers of African descent, assigned editor Clarence Reynolds with the task of creating a list of the best books of 2010 we knew he would return an impressive list of titles. What we didn't expect was the internationalism of the list. Two Ethiopians, a Haitian, and a St. Thomian rounded out the list of the best books by writers of African descent. In common? - of course, good writing. But most impressive was the variety of stories told.
Wes Moore's The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates tells the story of two men sharing the same name, from the same neighborhood whose lives take dramatically different paths. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson chronicles the great migration from south to the north that many African-Americans traveled looking for better lives.
The novel Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste takes place in Ethiopia during the last days of Emperor Haile Selassie as a family comes to grips with its own tribulation. And Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez tells the fact-based narrative of amorous rendezvous between female slaves and masters at secret resorts in Ohio during the 1800s.
THE BEST BOOKS OF 2010
Selections by Clarence V. Reynolds for Mosaic
Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
W.W. Norton & Company
Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden
How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Other Stories by Tiphanie Yanique
How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
Jesus Boy by Preston L Allen
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat
Princeton University Press
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
Spiegel & Grau
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Clarence V. Reynolds is an independent journalist and assistant director at the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, in Brooklyn, New York.
Launched in 1998, Mosaic is a quarterly print magazine exploring the literary arts by writers of African descent. Each issue contains a unique blend of profiles, book reviews, and literature lesson plans. Mosaic is published by the Literary Freedom Project, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit arts organization that supports the literary arts through education, creative thinking, and new media.