Fiction

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The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)
The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club)

by Colson Whitehead

From Colson Whitehead, this magnificent tour de force chronicles a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. A shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share, this narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.

History

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Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy

by Heather Ann Thompson

A searing and inedible account of the infamous 1971 Attica prison uprising, the state's violent response, and the victims' decade long quest for justice, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century. Drawing from extensive research, this book gives voice to all of those who took part in this forty-five year fight for justice. 

Biography

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The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

by Hisham Matar

The acclaimed memoir of a son's search for the truth after his father's violent disappearance, Hisham Matar's book is at once a brilliant portrait of a nation and a people on the cusp of change and a disquieting depiction of the brutal legacy of absolute power. Above all, it is a universal tale of loss and love and of one family’s life.

Poetry

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Olio
Olio

by Tyehimba Jess

With ambitious manipulations of poetic forms, Tyehimba Jess presents the sweat and story behind America's blues, worksongs, and church hymns. Part fact and part fiction, this book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. 

General Nonfiction

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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

by Matthew Desmond

In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, it transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem.

Drama

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Sweat
Sweat

by Lynn Nottage

Set in 2008 in one of the poorest cities in America, Reading, Pennsylvania, Pulitzer Prize-winning Lynn Nottage's heartbreaking play focuses on a group of down-and-out factory workers struggles to keep their present lives in balance, ignorant of the financial devastation looming in their near futures.