Many powerful stories written by incredible authors unfortunately go unnoticed because they just don't get talked about enough. We at A Box of Stories love nothing more than to shine some light upon the best of those hidden gems, and we have been lucky enough to discover the works of many inspiring Black authors while doing so. Black History Month brings us the perfect opportunity to celebrate their contribution in the world of fiction, so we have curated a list of 5 such amazing authors you should definitely check out:
1. Rutendo Nomsa Tavengerwei
After growing up in Zimbabwe, Rutendo Nomsa Tavengerwei moved to South Africa to study law which led to her becoming an international trade lawyer by profession. When she is not working as a lawyer, she takes inspiration from everything her father has taught her from the age of nine, about writing and storytelling, and weaves wonderful tales that sometimes even get nominated for the Carnegie medal.
We discovered this amazing book in our Surprise Box of Young Adult Books.
2. Tade Thompson
Although Thompson was born to Yoruban parents in London, his family moved to Nigeria when he was only seven where he grew up and studied medicine and social anthropology, and specialised in psychiatry. He moved back to the UK in 1998 and is now a psychiatrist on the south coast of England. He is the man behind many critically acclaimed titles, winning a Nommo Award, a Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award, and qualifying for many more. His novel Rosewater, won the Arthur C. Clarke award in 2019.
A Hidden Gem By Tade Thompson: Making Wolf
Making Wolf, Thompson’s first stand-alone novel, revolves around Weston Kogi, a London supermarket store detective, who travels back to his West African home country for his aunt’s funeral but is soon forced into the investigation of the murder of a local hero, Papa Busi, by two separate rebel factions - an investigation that can break the whole country.
We discovered this amazing book in our Surprise Box of Crime, Mystery and Thriller Books.
3. Suyi Davies Okungbowa
A science fiction and fantasy writer, born and raised in Benin City, Nigeria, who may have done his Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering in University of Benin, but had later gone on to University of Arizona, Tucson, for an MFA in Creative Writing. After working in many fields across many countries all around the world, he is now working as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at University of Ottawa.
A Hidden Gem By Suyi Davies Okungbowa: David Mogo, Godhunter
David Mogo, Godhunter is Okungbowa’s debut godpunk fantasy novel, and it follows the demigod, who is also an illegal god hunter, David Mogo, and his adventures after the event called The Falling, when thousands of orishas fell to the city of Lagos, Okungbowa’s native. It won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African.
We discovered this amazing book in our Surprise Box of Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books.
4. Michael Donkor
He was born in London in a Ghanaian household, earned his bachelor's degree in English at Wadham College, Oxford, and his master's in Creative Writing at University of London, which led him to not only lead an inspiring teaching career, but also to add a powerful voice in his written work. In fact, he set Hold in 2002 as that was the summer when he applied to study English at university! You can truly see a part of his journey through the stories of the three girls making their way from Ghana to Brixton.
A Hidden Gem by Michael Donkor: Hold
Hold is a powerful coming-of-age story about what we should hold on to and what we should let go of. The story moves from Ghana to London as we follow the journey of three girls, Belinda, Amma and Mary as they navigate life, friends, family and the secrets that come with them.
We discovered this amazing book in our Surprise Box of Fiction Books.
- Colson Whitehead
Arch Colson Chipp Whitehead was born in New York City, and grew up in Manhattan. He attended Trinity School in Manhattan, and later graduated from Harvard University. After graduating, he started writing for The Village Voice, an American news and culture paper, and while working there, started writing his first novels. Whitehead has written seven novels and two non-fiction books, and has won many awards for each of his contributions, along with honors like MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Harvard Arts Medal, and more.
A Hidden Gem by Colson Whitehead: Apex Hides The Hurt
Apex Hides The Hurt is a wickedly funny novel revolving around an unnamed African-American nomenclature consultant who is requested to change the name of a fictional town called Winthrop. While considering the name suggestions provided by the three main citizens, which includes the name ‘Freedom’ that the town was called originally as it was home to free black people, he goes deeper into the town’s history and comes to a meaningful conclusion. Along with this story, we also uncover the secret connection Apex bandages have with the main character.
We discovered this amazing book in our Surprise Box of Mixed Books.