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Now is the perfect time to grow your horror fiction collection and make sure your Summer reading list includes some talented Black voices.

Here are 20 riveting reads from Black authors we think you’ll really love — from the influential leaders in the genre to the promising new talent. 

There’s a call to action being sent around the internet this week asking people to support Black voices by purchasing any two books from Black writers. The week-long push to Blackout bestseller lists with more incredibly talented but woefully underrepresented authors runs through Saturday, June 20th. However, as we highlighted in our recent post spotlighting a variety of Black creatives — including artists, authors, podcasters and filmmakers — we think you should be paying attention to, anytime is a good time to be lifting up these voices that have been ignored for far too long.

Whether you want to support the cause of “Black Publishing Power” this week or you just want to tune in to more great writing talent you may have overlooked, we’ve got you covered.

Purchasing a book or two from this list a great way to do something meaningful in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but you’ll also be discovering some of the genre’s finest literary talent of past and present.

1. Fledgling – Octavia E. Butler

Fledgling is the last novel written by the renowned Black writer Octavia Butler, winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achivement Award for her body of work. Butler received critical acclaim for her strong protagonists, social observations, and feminist novels that are even more relevant today that ever.

Fledgling is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. It’s a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.

Purchase on Amazon

2. Beloved – Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s hugely influential, Pulitzer Prize–winning work — first published in 1987 — brought the wrenching experience of slavery into the literature of our modern times. Set in post–Civil War Ohio, it is the story of Sethe, an escaped slave who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has withstood savagery and not gone mad. But eighteen years after her escape, she is still not free. After being haunted for years by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and is referred to simply as Beloved, Sethe comes face to face with her terrible past in a very real and startling way.

Discover why The New York Times chose Beloved as the best American novel of the previous fifty years.

Purchase on Amazon

3. The Good House – Tananarive Due

From the American Book Award winner and author of “one of the most talked about debuts in the horror field since the advent of Stephen King” (Publishers Weekly) comes a terrifying story of supernatural suspense, as a woman searches for the inherited power that can save her hometown from evil forces. Working to rebuild her law practice after her son commits suicide, Angela Toussaint journeys to the family home where the suicide took place, hoping for answers, and discovers an invisible, evil force that is driving locals to acts of violence. This stellar horror novel boasts compelling, well-developed characters, a plot full of satisfying twists and turns, and plenty of creepy atmosphere.

As a bonus, you should definitely check out Tananarive Due on the essential documentary Horror Noire on Shudder to learn more about the history of Black horror.

Purchase on Amazon

4. Crescendo: Welcome Home, Death Awaits – L. Marie Wood

A man, haunted by a family curse, is taken beyond the limits of his sanity to a realm where he has no control over his actions or his fear. James Adams lived a normal life in a New York suburb before the demons dwelling within him awoke from their slumber to reveal unspeakable horror and prophesize his future a his destiny.

Crescendo is the debut novel from psychological horror and suspense author L. Marie Wood, one of a half dozen black female writers who embrace the horror genre label. It’s about fate and the lengths we will travel to avoid the inevitable. Set in tranquil Rockland County, New York, this tale of suspense and horror will take its reader on an emotional roller coaster of anger, anxiety, compassion, and indelible fear.

Purchase on Amazon

5. White is for Witching – Helen Oyeyemi

There’s something strange about the Silver family house in the closed-off town of Dover, England, which has been home to four generations of Silver women. The Silver women have always had a strong connection, and when Lily, Miranda’s mother, passes away suddenly, Miranda begins suffering strange ailments. When she brings a friend home, Dover’s hostility toward outsiders physically manifests within the four walls of the Silver house, and the lives of everyone inside are irrevocably changed.

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