Identity & Culture Fiction Ebooks

Open up your world with moving fictional stories that explore varied experiences and cultures. Identity and culture fiction ebooks help illuminate different cultures, identities, and experiences that may contrast or echo our own. Check out these new releases and bestsellers on identity and culture fiction.

Open up your world with moving fictional stories that explore varied experiences and cultures. Identity and culture fiction ebooks help illuminate different cultures, identities, and experiences that may contrast or echo our own. Check out these new releases and bestsellers on identity and culture fiction.

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The most talked-about and well-loved Identity & Culture Fiction titles this month.
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New & Noteworthy: Identity & Culture Fiction

  • A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times: Stories
    A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times: Stories
    A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times: Stories

    Ebook

    A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times: Stories

    byMeron Hadero

    NPR Best Books of 2022 The Christian Science Monitor 10 Best Books of June Most Anticipated Books of 2022: The Millions, Electric Literature, Brittle Paper, Open Country Magazine, Ms. Magazine Winner of the 2020 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing and the 2021 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing, Ethiopian American author Meron Hadero’s gorgeously wrought stories in A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times offer poignant, compelling narratives of those whose lives have been marked by border crossings and the risk of displacement. Set across the U.S. and abroad, Meron Hadero’s stories feature immigrants, refugees, and those on the brink of dispossession, all struggling to begin again, all fighting to belong. Moving through diverse geographies and styles, this captivating collection follows characters on the journey toward home, which they dream of, create and redefine, lose and find and make their own. Beyond migration, these stories examine themes of race, gender, class, friendship and betrayal, the despair of loss and the enduring resilience of hope. Winner of the 2021 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing, “The Street Sweep” is about an enterprising young man on the verge of losing his home in Addis Ababa who pursues an improbable opportunity to turn his life around. Appearing in Best American Short Stories, “The Suitcase” follows a woman visiting her country of origin for the first time and finds that an ordinary object opens up an unexpected, complex bridge between worlds. Shortlisted for the 2019 Caine Prize, “The Wall” portrays the intergenerational friendship between two refugees living in Iowa who have connections to Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. A Best American Short Stories notable, “Mekonnen aka Mack aka Huey Freakin’ Newton” is a coming-of-age tale about an Ethiopian immigrant in Brooklyn encountering nuances of race in his new country. Kaleidoscopic, powerful, and illuminative, the stories in A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times expand our understanding of the essential and universal need for connection and the vital refuge of home—and announce a major new talent in Meron Hadero. “Witty and wistful, complex and heartbreaking, these stories capture lives caught between cultures and continents, past and present, truth and lies. As its displaced characters seek belonging, this collection explores the challenges of connection with empathy and nuance. A thrilling debut.” —Brit Bennett, bestselling author of The Vanishing Half and The Mothers “Debut books don’t get much stronger than this. Meron Hadero’s remarkable stories explore a diverse cast of people doing their best to find acceptance or at least stability—a 10-year-old Ethiopian immigrant who befriends a German man in Iowa; a pair of refugees in New York determined to learn how to cook classic American food. Hadero is deeply perceptive; her dialogue always rings true, and the regard she has for her characters is apparent. This isn’t just an excellent first book, it’s an excellent book, period.” —Michael Schaub, NPR Best Books 2022: Books We Love “This book heralds the arrival of a gifted, stunning writer. A Down Home Meal for These Difficult Times held me spellbound, riveted to the compelling characters that walk through these pages, all of them guided by Meron’s revelatory and generous examinations of belonging and displacement. These stories unfold with an intensifying power, each of them a testament to what’s possible when we move through this world insisting on the potential of hope, and love.” —Maaza Mengiste, author of Booker Prize finalist The Shadow King “This richly detailed, subtly impressionistic short-story collection—by the first Ethiopian-born writer to win the AKO Cain

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • Buffalo Is the New Buffalo
    Buffalo Is the New Buffalo
    Buffalo Is the New Buffalo

    Ebook

    Buffalo Is the New Buffalo

    byChelsea Vowel

    “Education is the new buffalo” is a metaphor widely used among Indigenous peoples in Canada to signify the importance of education to their survival and ability to support themselves, as once Plains nations supported themselves as buffalo peoples. The assumption is that many of the pre-Contact ways of living are forever gone, so adaptation is necessary. But Chelsea Vowel asks, “Instead of accepting that the buffalo, and our ancestral ways, will never come back, what if we simply ensure that they do?” Inspired by classic and contemporary speculative fiction, Buffalo Is the New Buffalo explores science fiction tropes through a Métis lens: a Two-Spirit rougarou (shapeshifter) in the nineteenth century tries to solve a murder in her community and joins the nêhiyaw-pwat (Iron Confederacy) in order to successfully stop Canadian colonial expansion into the West. A Métis man is gored by a radioactive bison, gaining super strength, but losing the ability to be remembered by anyone not related to him by blood. Nanites babble to babies in Cree, virtual reality teaches transformation, foxes take human form and wreak havoc on hearts, buffalo roam free, and beings grapple with the thorny problem of healing from colonialism. Indigenous futurisms seek to discover the impact of colonization, remove its psychological baggage, and recover ancestral traditions. These eight short stories of “Métis futurism” explore Indigenous existence and resistance through the specific lens of being Métis. Expansive and eye-opening, Buffalo Is the New Buffalo rewrites our shared history in provocative and exciting ways.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Now Lila Knows
    Now Lila Knows
    Now Lila Knows

    Ebook

    Now Lila Knows

    byElizabeth Nunez

    Caribbean professor Lila Bonnard arrives in Vermont for a short-term teaching position and is forced to confront the terrible legacy of American (in)justice "The racial politics of a small town in Vermont, as seen through Lila’s eyes, provides an illuminating counterplay between Caribbean and American Blackness." —Publishers Weekly "As a portrait of Lila's political and racial awakening, the novel is a grand success." —Kirkus Reviews “In Now Lila Knows, Elizabeth Nunez has crafted an indelible saga, one that is both of the times and timeless; both personal and universal. This beautifully, masterfully written novel is at once a compelling love story, a crucial exploration of the contemporary immigrant experience, and a trenchant critique of American racism.” —Mitchell S. Jackson, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of The Residue Years Lila Bonnard has left her island home in the Caribbean to join the faculty as a visiting professor at Mayfield College in a small Vermont town. On her way from the airport to Mayfield, Lila witnesses the fatal shooting of a Black man by the police. It turns out that the victim was a professor at Mayfield, and was giving CPR to a white woman who was on the verge of an opioid overdose. The two Black faculty and a Black administrator in the otherwise all-white college expect Lila to be a witness in the case against the police. Unfortunately, Lila fears that in the current hostile political climate against immigrants of color she may jeopardize her position at the college by speaking out, and her fiancé advises her to remain neutral. Now Lila Knows is a gripping story that explores our obligation to act when confronted with the unfair treatment of fellow human beings. A page-turner with universal resonance, this novel will leave readers rethinking the meaning of love and empathy.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • The Partition
    The Partition
    The Partition

    Ebook

    The Partition

    byDon Lee

    A thrilling new story collection from acclaimed writer Don Lee exploring Asian American identity, spanning decades and continents "Don Lee is one of those masterful storytellers who is both classic and modern, who can transport you into any setting, with any character." —The TODAY Show, recommended by author Weike Wang "The organizing conceit of all [Lee’s] fiction has remained consistent: Asian Americans are not monoliths . . . Lee narrates from a collective perspective, his stories offering a kaleidoscopic vision of all the ways it feels to be yellow." —The New York Times Book Review "Familiar joy is immediate as one reenters Lee’s signature worlds of brilliant resonance and quiet depth. In his first short story collection since his lauded Yellow debut, Lee again questions identity, unlikely relationships, and fleeting connections . . . While Lee' s devotees will joyfully relish casually dropped references to previous titles, new readers should savor plenty of first-time delight." —Booklist, STARRED review "The Partition is flat-out brilliant: a witty, kaleidoscopic tear through questions of race and identity in America today by a writer who has wrought luminous fiction from these issues for years. Don Lee's collection offers vivid, entertaining proof that ethnicity is never straightforward or easy—no matter who we are, or where we stand." —Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad Twenty-one years after the publication of his landmark debut collection Yellow, Don Lee returns to the short story form for his sixth book, The Partition. The Partition is an updated exploration of Asian American identity, this time with characters who are presumptive model minorities in the arts, academia, and media. Spanning decades, these nine novelistic stories traverse an array of cities, from Tokyo to Boston, Honolulu to El Paso, touching upon transient encounters in local bars, restaurants, and hotels. Culminating in a three-story cycle about a Hollywood actor, The Partition incisively examines heartbreak, identity, family, and relationships—the characters searching for answers to universal questions: Where do I belong? How can I find love? What defines an authentic self?

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
  • Yonder: A Novel
    Yonder: A Novel
    Yonder: A Novel

    Ebook

    Yonder: A Novel

    byJabari Asim

    The Water Dancer meets The Prophets in this spare, gripping, and beautifully rendered novel exploring love and friendship among a group of enslaved Black strivers in the mid-19th century. They call themselves the Stolen. Their owners call them captives. They are taught their captors’ tongues and their beliefs but they have a language and rituals all their own. In a world that would be allegorical if it weren’t saturated in harsh truths, Cato and William meet at Placid Hall, a plantation in an unspecified part of the American South. Subject to the whims of their tyrannical and eccentric captor, Cannonball Greene, they never know what harm may befall them: inhumane physical toil in the plantation’s quarry by day, a beating by night, or the sale of a loved one at any moment. It’s that cruel practice—the wanton destruction of love, the belief that Black people aren’t even capable of loving—that hurts the most. It hurts the reserved and stubborn William, who finds himself falling for Margaret, a small but mighty woman with self-possession beyond her years. And it hurts Cato, whose first love, Iris, was sold off with no forewarning. He now finds solace in his hearty band of friends, including William, who is like a brother; Margaret; Little Zander; and Milton, a gifted artist. There is also Pandora, with thick braids and long limbs, whose beauty calls to him. Their relationships begin to fray when a visiting minister with a mysterious past starts to fill their heads with ideas about independence. He tells them that with freedom comes the right to choose the small things—when to dine, when to begin and end work—as well as the big things, such as whom and how to love. Do they follow the preacher and pursue the unknown? Confined in a landscape marked by deceit and uncertainty, who can they trust? In an elegant work of monumental imagination that will reorient how we think of the legacy of America’s shameful past, Jabari Asim presents a beautiful, powerful, and elegiac novel that examines intimacy and longing in the quarters while asking a vital question: What would happen if an enslaved person risked everything for love?

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
    The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
    The School for Good Mothers: A Novel

    Ebook

    The School for Good Mothers: A Novel

    byJessamine Chan

    In this New York Times bestseller and Today show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance, in this “surreal” (People), “remarkable” (Vogue), and “infuriatingly timely” (The New York Times Book Review) debut novel. Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough. Until Frida has a very bad day. The state has its eye on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgement, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion. Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good. An “intense” (Oprah Daily), “captivating” (Today) page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Look for Me and I'll Be Gone: Stories
    Look for Me and I'll Be Gone: Stories
    Look for Me and I'll Be Gone: Stories

    Ebook

    Look for Me and I'll Be Gone: Stories

    byJohn Edgar Wideman

    *A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Best Book of the Year* From John Edgar Wideman, a modern “master of language” (The New York Times Book Review), comes a stunning story collection that spans a range of topics from Michael Jordan to Emmett Till, from childhood memories to the final day in a prison cell. In Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone, his sixth collection of stories, John Edgar Wideman imbues with energy and life the concerns that have consistently infused his fiction and nonfiction. How does it feel to grow up in America, a nation that—despite knowing better, despite its own laws, despite experiencing for hundreds of years the deadly perils and heartbreak of racial division—encourages (sometimes unwittingly, but often on purpose) its citizens to see themselves as colored or white, as inferior or superior. Never content merely to tell a story, Wideman seeks once again to create language that delivers passages like jazz solos, and virtuosic manipulations of time to entangle past and present. The story “Separation” begins with a boy afraid to stand alone beside his grandfather’s coffin, then wends its way back and forth from Pittsburgh to ancient Sumer. “Atlanta Murders” starts with two chickens crossing a road and becomes a dark riff, contemplating “Evidence of Things Not Seen,” James Baldwin’s report on the 1979–1981 child murders in Atlanta, Georgia. Comprised of fictions of the highest caliber and relevancy by a writer whose imagination and intellect “prove his continued vitality...with vigor and soul” (Entertainment Weekly), Look For Me and I’ll Be Gone will entrance and surprise committed Wideman fans and newcomers alike.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
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