The Root’s Global Book List

A roundup of great literature from across the black Diaspora.


After a month of celebrating and exploring the lives, contributions and struggles of black people, it is only appropriate that we highlight the literary gifts of black people from around the globe. Check out these recent titles that celebrate the diversity and commonality of all of our experiences.

What We All Long For

By Dionne Brand

Thomas Dunne Books, December 2008

From an award-winning poet, this novel, originally published in Canada in 2005 follows a multicultural crew of 20-somethings-a Vietnamese lesbian artist, biracial bicycle courier, Jamaican poet-as they grapple with cementing who there are in the midst of internal identity struggles and external family conflicts.

The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood

By Helene Cooper

Simon & Schuster, September 2008

A recount of a New York Times correspondent’s Liberian upbringing, which spans both the country’s “good times” and its tragic, war-torn ones.