Our 2019 First Novel Prize winner, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, shares six books he thinks would make great gifts. You can find each of these wonderful titles at our bookstore, and don’t miss Winslow’s stunning debut novel, In West Mills.
The Yellow House
By Sarah M. Broom
Published by Grove/Atlantic
In this all-consuming memoir we meet Broom’s determined mother and the house she bought as a very young widow. You’ll never forget Ivy Mae and the yellow house where the author and her siblings were raised with unconditional love.
By Toni Morrison
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
In this Christmas-time novel, Margaret and Valerian Street await the homecoming of their son, Michael. But we, the readers, learn of all the reasons he may not show up. It’s suspenseful and it reminds us that everyone has a past.2 .
By Regina Porter
Published by Hogarth
This novel about two family lines—one black, one white—reminds us that life has a way of bringing people—no matter how different—together over and over.
By Andrew Ridker
Published by Penguin Books
This is a wonderful novel. It tackles topics such as parenthood, loss, socio-economic class, academia, sexual identity, sibling rivalry and love.4 .
We Cast a Show
By Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Published by Random House
An African-American man in the South wants to give his son a gift that he believes will save his son’s life. In a time when we hear about black fathers being absent, this novel provides a very different and heartwarming narrative.
The Color Purple
By Alice Walker
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
I love this novel because we see three strong women (Shug, Celie and Sophia) fight to survive despite being the targets of various types of abuse and loss. They find support and love with one another.6 .