This article was written by Sorcha DeHeer

Whether you like the classics or not, consider giving these ones a try. I have compiled a shortlist of foundational texts that weren’t written by white men. Those exist, despite the education systems insistence that they don’t. I will obviously miss a lot of authors but this list is a good start for your summer reading. 

  1. Save Me The Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald
  2. The Last Man by Mary Shelley 
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
  6. Middlemarch by George Eliot (also known as Mary Ann Evans)
  7. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank 
  8. The Secret History by Donna Tart
  9. White Teeth by Zadie Smith 
  10. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  11. America is in the Heat by Carlos Bulosan 
  12. The Hanging on Union Square by H. T. Tsiang 
  13. East Goes West by Younghill Kang 
  14. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 
  15. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglas 
  16. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  17. Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth 
  18. Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
  19. The Curse of Caste by Julia C. Collins
  20. Wynema: A Child of the Forest by S. Alice Callahan
  21. A Chinese Ishmael and Other Stories by Sui Sin Far
  22. Hawai’i’s Story by Hawai’i’s Queen by Queen Lili’uokalani
  23. The Souls of Black Folk by WEB Du Bois
  24. I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki 
  25. The Souls of the Indian by Charles Alexander Eastman
  26. The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
  27. A Dark Night’s Passing by Naoya Shiga
  28. Chaka by Thomas Mofolo
  29. The Weary Blues by Langston Hughes
  30. Quicksand by Nella Larsen
  31. Home to Harlem by Claude McKay
  32. My People the Sioux by Luther Standing Bear
  33. Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang
  34. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
  35. Where There’s Love There’s Hate by Silvina Ocampo and Adolfo Bioy Casares
  36. The President by Miguel Ángel Asturias
  37. The Living is Easy by Dorothy West
  38. Nisei Daughter by Monica Sone
  39. The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola
  40. In the Country by Mia Alvar

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