21 Books By POC Writers That You Should Definitely Read At Some Point

These will make your bookshelf even better.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community which books written by people of colour they think everyone should read. Here are some of their recommendations.

1. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

"It is such a raw examination of the experience of Black women in America and what it means to be beautiful. It takes place in the Midwest post-WWI, but the themes are still so relevant especially in today’s racial climate."

Submitted by whitneyburrisw.

2. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

"All the parallels I drew between the book and my own life were found in the little things; it brought me a whole new perspective and appreciation for my parents through details I don’t think they would have even thought to share with me.

It was comforting to see some of my own thoughts and my own life written out in a book. It wasn’t all pretty, which made it that much more endearing and satisfying."

Submitted by ivanasu.

3. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

Instagram: @libraryofamy

"It’s beautiful and perfectly displays the emotions of many Hispanic immigrants in the USA."

Submitted by ashleighm4665db7ab.

5. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

"It’s the perfect coming of age novel and came to me at a time when I was separating my old teenage self from my new adult view of the world. I feel like that’s such a universal feeling that anyone can relate to when reading this book; however, it also introduces some ideas about racial tension, colourism, and gender roles in relationships."

Submitted by kissestofilm.

6. So Far From God by Ana Castillo

Instagram: @thesingingmoon

"The novel focuses on religious and cultural issues in a small town in New Mexico through the eyes of a fiercely independent mother and four daughters. Each daughter’s story is magical and extraordinary and, at times, tragic. It’s a great read. I recommend it as often as I can."

Submitted by carlosq2.

9. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Instagram: @minimalella

"A complex, thought-provoking, brilliant novel. It is liberal with detail but covets clarity, as though the storyline is a jigsaw puzzle haphazardly scattered across a table. As you put the pieces together, each one a snippet of wonder or horror or laughter or fear, the grand picture slowly takes shape. And when it finally comes together, it's a wonderful, horrible thrill."

Submitted by Lauren Colson, Facebook.

10. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

"Marjane and her family are no different than you and I. For so long they have been the true victims of their government and the terrorists born on their soil. But that doesn't stop them from standing up for their civil rights in the face of torture and death."

Submitted by Anne Catherine Hughes, Facebook.

12. Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

Instagram: @thiq_designer

"It’s a science-fiction book featuring an African woman who can heal herself so she cannot die. It is a beautifully constructed story dealing with racial and gender prejudice, stereotypes, and survival. I would recommend it to anyone."

Submitted by reagaeb.

13. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"Adichie makes her characters and their struggles real and the book is both heartbreaking and full of hope at the same time. One of the best books I’ve ever read."

Submitted by elizabethm4c685924b.

14. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

"The story reminds you of just how far-reaching modern wars and warfare are. The characters are painfully fallible, and it makes you love them even more."

Submitted by erenah.

15. Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson.

Instagram: @kleigh_writer

"The main characters are all POC, which is pretty rare in a novel. The language of the novel is a bit difficult to read at first, if you’re not familiar with Patwa, but after the initial few pages it completely immerses you. We read this book in a lit course I took last year, and it was wonderful to read about a society untouched by the colonisation people of colour have historically gone through in our world."

Submitted by jessicat4206d06e5.

16. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

"I don't know many writers who just know people and how they work as well as Zadie Smith does. Not many writers can then portray people and their motivations and make it believable, even under odd circumstances, capturing all the contradictions and irrationalities that we act on quite logically given our backgrounds, but she just does."

Submitted by Gitai Ben-Ammi, Facebook.

17. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

"Hosseini does a remarkable job of intertwining the stories of two Afghani women during the invasion of the Taliban. He captures the injustice and oppression in they face while highlighting the importance of women supporting one another in times of adversity."

Submitted by shermans.

18. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.

Instagram: @lazy_literature

"I read this my freshman year of high school and it really helped me understand my identity as a Latina and a woman at an age when I needed it most. "

Submitted by phanstiel.

19. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

"It shows a real insight to how POC are treated simply for the colour of their skin.The political tones throughout are key to understanding the real struggle that is faced. It’s a wonderful and interesting series."

Submitted by charlottekaiixo.

20. You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down by Alice Walker

"Absolutely incredible short stories about African American women. Some are absolutely brutal, all are beautiful. Made me hopeful and angry in equal measure."

Submitted by Elllybelle.

21. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur.

Instagram: @fromthepage

"Beautiful poetry that touches on a variety of topics from the point of view of a woman of colour. I got to see her perform and that was enlightening."

Submitted by kaekae19.

"She writes the most amazing and gut wrenching poetry. It made me cry more than once and someone I loaned it to told me after she read it, she sat up at night thinking about it."

Submitted by belisles1601.

Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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