Great Fiction Not Written by White People

As Darby Dixon III has suggested, with the exception of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Dick Meyer’s list of great books written after 1900 has all the literary sensibilities of a grand wizard. To counter Meyer’s vanilla extract sensibilities, here’s a very hastily assembled list of great American fiction written after 1900 not written by white people. This is by no means an authoritative list. It pretty much came together in one mad mnemonic rush. I have also limited the list to one book per author. But all of these books have moved me or wowed me or otherwise floated my boat in some manner and are certainly worth your time. Please feel free to add more to the list in the comments.

Chimamanda Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room
Octavia Butler, Kindred
Ana Castillo, The Mixquiahuala Letters
J. California Cooper, A Piece of Mine
Samuel R. Delany, Dhalgren
Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine
Percival Everett, Glyph
Ernest J. Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying
Aleksandar Hemon, The Question of Bruno
Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Ha Jin, Waiting
Edward P. Jones, The Known World
Nam Le, The Boat
Chang-Rae Lee, Aloft
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress
John Okada, No-No Boy
Z.Z. Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere
Susan Power, The Grass Dancer
Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony
Zadie Smith, On Beauty
Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days
Richard Wright, Native Son