Books would be boring if we read the same stories about the same people all the time. I am starting to really like books with traditionally unlikeable characters, especially if they are Black women. Books about crazy, messy, or disagreeable Black women are so important; they provide important perspective that Black women can exist however the freak they want, unapologetically. And while we may not agree with or understand their choices, their stories are still worth being told. Here are a couple of my favorite books about crazy Black women:
Luster by Raven Leilani
Edie is odd, if not outright unlikeable. She lives her life on the fringes, quietly observing the world from the margins. A book with no strong plot, but captivating commentary about how the world works. Read this if you like dark humor and grit.
Patsy by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn
It’s easy to condemn women who abandon their children. Children don’t ask to be brought into this world, but some women don’t ask to be mothers either. A book where people judge a woman for leaving her child in pursuit of a better life. Read this book if you are fascinated by immigration stories.
New People by Danzy Senna
A book about a smart, mixed race woman, who also is very weird and does things like breaks into men’s apartments to sleep in their beds, use their personal items, and listen to them make love to people. Not to mention her slight obsession with Jim Jones. Read this book if you like cool 90’s A Different World vibes.
Sula by Toni Morrison
The OG book about a Black woman demonized by her choices because they are unconventional. Another time where the boxes for Black women were even more constrictive. Read thi book if you love Toni Morrison as much as I do.