To celebrate the best in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction of 2019, the editors of Auburn Avenue picked their favorite books of the year. While our list is not exhaustive, it features a segment of the most exceptional releases from writers of color.

See our picks below (in chronological order by date of publication). 

Black is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine

by Emily Bernard

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: Knopf

Genre: Nonfiction

We Cast a Shadow

by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Publication Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: One World

Genre: Fiction

The Tradition

by Jericho Brown 

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

Publisher: Copper Canyon Press

Genre: Poetry

Ugly Music

by Diannely Antigua

Publication Date: May 15, 2019

Publisher: YesYes Books

Genre: Poetry

In West Mills

by De'Shawn Charles Winslow

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Genre: Fiction

The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

Publication Date: July 16, 2019

Publisher: Doubleday

Genre: Fiction

A Particular Kind of Black Man

by Tope Folarin

Publication Date: August 6, 2019

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Fiction

The Yellow House 

by Sarah M. Broom

Publication Date: August 13, 2019

Publisher: Grove Press

Genre: Nonfiction

PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019 

Stories selected by Danielle Evans, Alice Sola Kim, and Carmen Maria Machado

Publication Date: August 20, 2019

Publisher: Catapult

Genre: Fiction

The Black Shoals:

Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies

by Tiffany Lethabo King

Publication Date: August 23, 2019

Publisher: Duke University Press

Genre: Nonfiction

Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers

by Jake Skeets

Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Publisher: Milkweed Editions

Genre: Poetry


by Xandria Phillips

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Publisher: Nightboat Books

Genre: Poetry


by Chet'la Sebree

Publication Date: October 16, 2018

Publisher: New Issues Poetry and Prose

Genre: Poetry

In the Dream House

by Carmen Maria Machado

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Publisher: Graywolf Press

Genre: Nonfiction

Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness & Schooling

in San Francisco

by Savannah Shange

Publication Date: November 23, 2019

Publisher: Duke University Press

Genre: Nonfiction


"A penchant for the past with a promise for the present."

Auburn Avenue is an Atlanta-based, 

biannual online publication showcasing

the intellectual and creative voices 

of people of color.

  • Grey Twitter Icon


Join Our Mailing List for Updates

©The Auburn Avenue. 2020. All Rights Reserved.