American literature

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Her already hellish existence as a slave is made worse by the fact that her mother escaped years ago, leaving Cora, just a child, alone in the world. As a result, she is an outcast among her fellow slaves. Faced with her bitter future, she jumps at the chance of escape, in the form of Caesar, a slave newly arrived from Virginia.
Caesar tells her of his contacts with the Underground Railroad, which nobody believes operates so far south. One dark night they escape the plantation and make their way to the nearest station. The Underground Railroad is a physical railway, built underground and drawn along by a steam engine. Secret stations and station masters help to hide and transport slaves to freedom. But Cora is pursued by a terrifying slave-hunter, determined to catch her after he failed to do so with her mother. Read More »

An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones

Celestial and Roy are celebrating their first wedding anniversary when the unimaginable happens: Roy is arrested and accused of a crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to 12 years and both of their lives will never be the same. Celestial is left to pick up the pieces of their life, knowing that she will not be reunited with her husband for many many years. Roy struggles with the accusation and verdict which put him behind bars, and how to be a good husband, son and friend from inside. Hard decisions are made, hearts broken and lives put on hold. Read More »