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Find more Top 10 Multicultural Nonfiction
The best works of multicultural nonfiction reviewed in Booklist between February 1, 2015, and January 2016 are written with valiant candor and breathtaking eloquence and cover a broad spectrum, from the ancient peoples of the Southwest to the experiences of African Americans and immigrants past and present.
Between the World and Me. By Ta-Nehisi Coates. 2015. Spiegel & Grau, $24 (9780812993547).
In this concentrated and potent book, Coates reveals what it means to be an African American now, encompassing the tragic legacy of the past and the injustices of today.
Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back. By Janice P. Nimura. 2015. Norton, $26.95 (9780393077995).
Nimura tracks five nineteenth-century Japanese girls who were sent to live in America for 10 years and, upon their return, sparked a revolution in Japanese women’s education.
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life. By Sandra Cisneros. 2015. Knopf, $28.95 (9780385351331).
Cisneros creates a patchwork-quilt memoir out of more than 40 essays in which she reflects on the meaning of home and her struggles as a self-described “American Mexican” and “working-class writer.”
The Light of the World. By Elizabeth Alexander. 2015. Grand Central, $26 (9781455599875).
With spellbinding grace, poet Alexander tells the story of her joyful marriage to exuberantly creative Ficre Ghebreyesus, an Eritrean refugee artist and chef; her grief after his sudden death; and the healing radiance of art and literature.
The Lost World of the Old Ones: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest. By David Roberts. 2015. Norton, $27.95 (9780393241624).
Roberts guides readers into the wilds of the Southwest and far back in time, reporting on findings illuminating the lives of groups such as the ancient Fremont Puebloans.
Martín Ramirez: Framing His Life and Art. By Victor M. Espinosa. 2015. Univ. of Texas, $40 (9781477307755).
Espinosa’s groundbreaking biography reveals the hard facts about Martin Ramírez,a Mexican immigrant artist whose spectacular drawings are owned by major museums yet who lost his family, land, identity, and freedom, and never received a penny.
Negroland. By Margo Jefferson. 2015. Pantheon, $25 (9780307378453).
In her beautifully written memoir of growing up in an upper-class African American family in Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s, Jefferson addresses issues of class that complicate the quest for racial unity.
Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence. By Jonathan Sacks.
2015. Schocken, $28.95 (9780805243345).
Sacks closely examines and repudiates the use of scripture by Jews, Christians, and Muslims to perpetuate an us-them dualism and legitimize terrorist attacks on peacefully multicultural societies.
Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim. By Justin Gifford.
2015. Doubleday, $26.95 (9780385538343).
In the first full biography of Robert “Iceberg Slim” Beck (1918–92), Gifford tells the dramatic, sharply relevant story of the African American pulp writer who inspired gangsta rap, hip-hop, and street lit.
We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future. By Deepa Iyer. 2015. New Press, $25.95 (9781620970140).
Iyer draws on the personal experiences (including her own) of young South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh immigrants living in communities that have suffered backlash and hate crimes.
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