The Prose of Passion

Eleven great love stories on love and relationships.


Bicycles: Love Poems

By Nikki Giovanni

William Morrow, January 2009

Out of pain comes love. And that’s the setting that birthed Giovanni’s new collection of poems that celebrates the power, force and healing nature of what she considers, “the antidote.”

It’s All Love: Black Writers on Soul Mates, Family and Friends

Edited by Marita Golden

Broadway Books, February 2009

Even if I wasn’t one of the featured contributors in this dynamic collection edited by the bestselling Golden—and I can hardly articulate how grateful that I am—I’d pressure everyone I knew and those I don’t to buy a copy. Through heartfelt poems, essays and stories written by the likes of Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, Tina McElroy Ansa, E. Lynn Harris, A. Van Jordan, E. Ethelbert Miller, Doreen Baingana, Pearl Cleage and so many more, the collection proudly displays that black love, in all its complexity, lives triumphantly.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

By Steve Harvey with Denene Millner

Amistad/HarperCollins, January 2009

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it’s surprising that opposite sexes are ever able to connect—especially since everything from interests and perspectives can vary greatly. Enter Harvey with a tough-love relationship guide that aims to clue women in on the inner workings of the minds of men.


By HoneyB

Grand Central Publishing, February 2009 (paperback edition)

Hot sex. Workplace drama. More hot sex. And if you’re like a majority of the population and isn’t getting it on like the buckwild characters in this mouth-dropper, there’s nothing wrong with some vicarious living. Hey, you may just pick up a tip or two to impress or shock your special someone.

Seraph on the Suwanee

By Zora Neale Hurston

Harper Perennial Modern Classics, December 2008 (paperback edition)

Love is as much about forces outside of our control as it is about those we can control. With a 20th century backdrop, this is a complicated romance written only in the way that Hurston can—passionately, observantly, unapologetically and aimed at the deepest emotional centers of the human spirit.

Amiri and Odette: A Love Story

By Walter Dean Myers, Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

Scholastic Press, January 2009

Slick Rick once mused about the bittersweet taste of teenage love. It’s this flavor that melts in your mouth while reading this lyrical and handsomely illustrated contemporary retelling of the Swan Lake Ballet. While written for young people, we older folk will enjoy basking in the book’s reminiscent rays of hope.

Felicia Pride is founder of the literary organization BackList and the author of The Message: 100 Life Lessons from Hip-Hop’s Greatest Songs.