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Caribbean Fiction Collection

“Reading the Caribbean means you read the world”
—Shivanee Ramlochan

As a cultural institution in downtown Brooklyn, our overarching goal is to reflect our community. The history of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn and throughout New York City is rich and multifaceted, going back generations. The Caribbean is an extremely prolific region of storytellers and boasts a distinct literary aesthetic. To the islands of the Caribbean, Brooklyn is the gateway to the diaspora. This idea is reflected in the numbers. Brooklyn is home to the highest concentration of Caribbean lives outside of the region. The Caribbean fiction collection within our membership library is a meticulously-researched joint project of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival (BCLF) and The Center for Fiction. The BCLF is an organization dedicated to blazing a trail for Caribbean literature in the North American diaspora and began its partnership with The Center For Fiction in 2019. This collection is an important milestone in the ongoing shared commitment between the BCLF and The Center for Fiction to celebrate and promote the art of fiction with a specific spotlight on the incredible contributions of Caribbean authors to the literary community at large. This collection is a showcase of the writers whose work is fundamental to the appreciation of Caribbean literature. It is intended to encourage support for the work of Caribbean writers and foster a greater appreciation of the contributions of those who call that place ‘home’.

“I come from a little island with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. I come from, really, nowhere, and for me, the fiction and the nonfiction, creative or otherwise, all come from the same place.”
—Jamaica Kincaid

The Caribbean, as a geographical region, is a place of incredible historical relevance, staggering beauty and complex realities. Our special collection contains a range of writing styles, nationalities, and ethnicities that only begin to scratch the surface of the layered stories of this region including noir short story anthologies with writers from various countries, to classics, to contemporary masterpieces and much more. The Caribbean canon contains award-winning, versatile, culture-crossing stories, which though often uniquely expressed, wrestle and interrogate wider ideas and themes of universal relevance to the human condition.

“Historically, the Caribbean has been at the forefront of every single movement for liberation in the New World. Its writers have been the allies and scaffolding of African diaspora scholarship. Today, the newly emerging voices of their offspring bravely confront and reflect on the diaspora experience with an urgency which demands to be heard.”

Caribbean and Caribbean-American stories are essential to New York City, and to Brooklyn especially. We hope that this collection helps preserve part of this deep history, and adds to the diversity of our library. Those yet uninitiated into the ways and beauty of Caribbean literature will be introduced to this sect of interesting writers – writers who have shaped modern literature in their own distinctive ways.

“When I was growing up, the books I read were by Enid Blyton and in it Blyton had children going to the beach for picnics, but they wore cardigans and they ate cucumber sandwiches. . . . And so of course, I try to imitate them, but you can’t wear a cardigan on a Caribbean beach. My grandparents had a friend, Beryl McBurnie. Beryl McBurnie was quite the opposite of that. She would wear all these great colors, you know, that we lived with, the reds and the pinks and the yellows and so on. And she would talk of tamarind, pommecythere, chataigne and all those…And suddenly I realized, I think she gave me permission to write about those things and, and I felt at home doing that.”
—Elizabeth Nunez

This collection will be ever growing and evolving. We invite you to suggest titles for our collection as well, which you can do through this link.

Listed alphabetically by author’s last name

  • The Great American by Alex Abella
  • Trinidad Noir, multiple authors, ed. by Lisa Allen-Agostini
  • Afterlife by Julia Alvarez
  • A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
  • In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
  • In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  • Once Upon a Quinceanera by Julia Alvarez
  • The Other Side by Julia Alvarez
  • Saving the World by Julia Alvarez
  • Something to Declare by Julia Alvarez
  • Saving the World by Julia Alvarez
  • ¡Yo! By Julia Alvarez
  • How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs
  • The Doctor’s House by Ann Beattie
  • Under the Silk Cotton Tree by Jean Buffong
  • These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card
  • The Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows by Patrick Chamoiseau
  • Creole Folktales by Patrick Chamoiseau
  • Slave Old Man by Patrick Chamoiseau
  • Solibo by Patrick Chamoiseau
  • Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau
  • Waiting in Vain by Colin Channer
  • Crossing the Mangrove by Maryse Condé
  • I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé
  • The Story of the Cannibal Woman by Maryse Condé
  • Tree of Life by Maryse Condé
  • Victoire: My Mother’s Mother by Maryse Condé
  • Waiting for Waters to Rise by Maryse Condé
  • Windward Heights by Maryse Condé
  • What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz
  • How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz
  • Soledad by Angie Cruz
  • Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
  • Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
  • Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
  • Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
  • The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
  • Haiti Noir, multiple authors, ed. by Edwidge Danticat
  • Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
  • Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • Drown by Junot Diaz
  • The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
  • This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
  • Around Harvard Square by Christopher John Farley
  • Kingston by Starlight by Christopher John Farley
  • My Favorite War by Christopher John Farley
  • Zero O’Clock by Christopher John Farley
  • Eccentric Neighborhoods by Rosario Ferre
  • The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferre
  • Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer by Jamie Figueroa
  • A Tall History of Sugar by Curdella Forbes
  • An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
  • Ayiti by Roxane Gay
  • Palace of the Peacock by Wilson Harris
  • From the Heat of the Day by Roy Heath
  • The Ministry of Hope by Roy Heath
  • The Shadow Bride by Roy Heath
  • So Many Islands, multiple authors, ed. by Marlon James
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
  • The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
  • Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James
  • How the One Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones
  • A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
  • At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid
  • The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Mr. Potter by Jamaica Kincaid
  • My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid
  • My Garden by Jamaica Kincaid
  • See Now and Then by Jamaica Kincaid
  • Talk Stories by Jamaica Kincaid
  • The Emigrants by George Lamming
  • Water With Berries by George Lamming
  • Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall
  • The Chosen Place, The Timeless People by Paule Marshall
  • Daughters by Paule Marshall
  • The Fisher King by Paule Marshall
  • Soul Clap Hands and Sing by Paule Marshall
  • Amiable with Big Teeth by Claude McKay
  • Banana Bottom by Claude McKay
  • Banjo by Claude McKay
  • Home to Harlem by Claude McKay
  • Augustown by Kei Miller
  • The Jilkington Drama by Edgar Mittelholzer
  • The Life and Death of Sylvia by Edgar Mittelholzer
  • In Nueva York by Nicholasa Mohr
  • A Matter of Pride and Other Stories by Nicholasa Mohr
  • Rituals of Survival: A Woman’s Portfolio by Nicholasa Mohr
  • Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo
  • Polar Vortex by Shani Mootoo
  • Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul
  • Love and Death in a Hot Country by Shiva Naipaul
  • An Area of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul
  • A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul
  • A Flag on the Island by V.S. Naipaul
  • A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
  • A Turn in the South by V.S. Naipaul
  • A Way in the World by V.S. Naipaul
  • Between Father and Son by V.S. Naipaul
  • Finding the Center by V.S. Naipaul
  • The Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul
  • Guerillas by V.S. Naipaul
  • Half a Life by V.S. Naipaul
  • Magic Seeds by V.S. Naipaul
  • Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul
  • The Mimic Men by V.S. Naipaul
  • Mr. Stone and the Knight’s Companion by V.S. Naipaul
  • The Mystic Masseur by V.S. Naipaul
  • Three Novels: The Mystic Masseur, The Suffrage of Elvira, Miguel Street by V.S. Naipaul
  • Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez
  • Beyond the Limbo Silence by Elizabeth Nunez
  • Boundaries by Elizabeth Nunez
  • Even in Paradise by Elizabeth Nunez
  • Grace by Elizabeth Nunez
  • Now Lila Knows by Elizabeth Nunez
  • Prospero’s Daughter by Elizabeth Nunez
  • August Frost by Monique Roffey
  • A Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey
  • The Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon
  • Tiepolo’s Hound by Derek Walcott
  • The Hills of Hebron by Sylvia Wynter
  • How to Escape from a Leper Colony by Tiphanie Yanique
  • The Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
  • Monster in the Middle by Tiphanie Yanique