A Monthly Update from Penguin Classics

By Kayleigh Voss | July 29 2020 | GeneralHumanities & Social Sciences

PENGUIN CLASSICS

Because what you read matters.


Subscribe to the Penguin Classics Newsletter here.


Black Lives Matter. Black Voices Matter. Black Stories Matter. This month we’re sharing a few of the works by Black authors we have been learning from lately. Let us know on social media the Black voices and stories you’re reading this month (we’re @PenguinClassics everywhere).


Nonfiction—History: The Light of Truth by Ida B. Wells
This collection of Black journalist Ida B. Wells’s anti-lynching writings is the broadest and most comprehensive collection of writings available by an early civil and women’s rights pioneer, featuring her articles exposing the horrors of lynching, essays from her travels abroad, and her later journalism.

The Light of Truth


Nonfiction—Memoir: Revolutionary Suicide by Huey P. Newton
Black Panther Party cofounder and leader Huey P. Newton’s oft-quoted autobiography Revolutionary Suicide traces the birth of a revolutionary, from his impoverished childhood on the streets of Oakland to his adolescence and struggles with the system to his role in the Black Panthers and his solitary confinement in the Alameda County Jail.

Revolutionary Suicide


Nonfiction—Essays: The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
Believing that one can know the “soul” of a race by knowing the souls of individuals, W. E. B. Du Bois’ book of essays combines history and stirring autobiography to reflect on the magnitude of American racism and to chart a path forward against oppression, and introduces the now-famous concepts of the color line, the veil, and double consciousness.

The Souls of Black Folk


Fiction—Classic: Passing by Nella Larsen
Set in 1920s Harlem, Nella Larsen’s second and final published novel is a powerful tale on the fluidity of racial identity that continues to resonate today, as it follows the reunion of childhood friends Irene and Clare, both light-skinned Black women, and Clare’s risky decision to “pass” as a white woman and hide her Black heritage from her racist white husband.

Passing


Fiction—Modern Classic: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature that broke the silence around sexual and domestic abuse, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia, narrating their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery.

The Color Purple


Fiction—Historical: The Marrow of Tradition by Charles W. Chesnutt
Based on a historically accurate account of the Wilmington, North Carolina, “race riot” of 1898, African American author and civil rights activist Charles W. Chesnutt’s innovative novel is a fictional account of the rise of the white supremacist movement and a passionate portrait of the betrayal of Black culture in America.

The Marrow of Tradition


Fiction—Comedy/Satire: Romance in Marseille by Claude McKay
Buried in the archive for almost ninety years, Claude McKay’s Jazz Age novel Romance in Marseille traces the adventures of a rowdy troupe of dockworkers, prostitutes, and political organizers—collectively straight and queer, disabled and able-bodied, African, European, Caribbean, and American—fighting for pleasure and liberty even when stolen, shipped, and sold for parts, and explores the heritage of slavery amid an unforgiving modern economy.

Romance in Marseille


Ida B. Wells

The Light of Truth
Writings of an Anti-Lynching Crusader
978-0-14-310682-1
The broadest and most comprehensive collection of writings available by an early civil and women’s rights pioneerSeventy-one years before Rosa Parks’s courageous act of resistance, police dragged a young black journalist named Ida B. Wells off a train for refusing to give up her seat. The experience shaped Wells’s career, and—when hate crimes touched her life personally—she mounted what was to become her life’s work: an anti-lynching crusade that captured international attention.This volume covers the entire scope of Wells’s remarkable career, collecting her early writings, articles exposing the horrors of lynching, essays from her travels abroad, and her later journalism. The Light of Truth is both an invaluable resource for study and a testament to Wells’s long career as a civil rights activist.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$19.00 US
Nov 25, 2014
Paperback
624 Pages
Penguin Classics

Revolutionary Suicide
(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
978-0-14-310532-9
The searing, visionary memoir of founding Black Panther Huey P. Newton, in a dazzling graphic package Tracing the birth of a revolutionary, Huey P. Newton's famous and oft-quoted autobiography is as much a manifesto as a portrait of the inner circle of America's Black Panther Party. From Newton's impoverished childhood on the streets of Oakland to his adolescence and struggles with the system, from his role in the Black Panthers to his solitary confinement in the Alameda County Jail, Revolutionary Suicide is unrepentant and thought-provoking in its portrayal of inspired radicalism.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$18.00 US
Sep 29, 2009
Paperback
384 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Souls of Black Folk
With "The Talented Tenth" and "The Souls of White Folk"
978-0-14-018998-8
The landmark book about being black in America, now in an expanded edition commemorating the 150th anniversary of W. E. B. Du Bois’s birth and featuring a new introduction by Ibram X. Kendi, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist, and cover art by Kadir Nelson   “The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.”   When The Souls of Black Folk was first published in 1903, it had a galvanizing effect on the conversation about race in America—and it remains both a touchstone in the literature of African America and a beacon in the fight for civil rights. Believing that one can know the “soul” of a race by knowing the souls of individuals, W. E. B. Du Bois combines history and stirring autobiography to reflect on the magnitude of American racism and to chart a path forward against oppression, and introduces the now-famous concepts of the color line, the veil, and double-consciousness.   This edition of Du Bois’s visionary masterpiece includes two additional essays that have become essential reading: “The Souls of White Folk,” from his 1920 book Darkwater, and “The Talented Tenth.”For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$14.00 US
Apr 01, 1996
Paperback
288 Pages
Penguin Classics

Passing
978-0-14-312942-4
The powerful, thrilling, and tragic tale about the fluidity of racial identity that continues to resonate today, with an introduction by Emily Bernard. A Penguin Vitae Edition
$24.00 US
Feb 25, 2020
Hardcover
160 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Color Purple
A Novel
978-0-14-313569-2
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alice Walker's iconic modern classic is now a Penguin Book.A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker's epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
$17.00 US
Dec 10, 2019
Paperback
304 Pages
Penguin Books

The Marrow of Tradition
978-0-14-018686-4
Based on a historically accurate account of the Wilmington, North Carolina, "race riot" of 1898, African-American author Charles W. Chesnutt's innovative novel is a passionate portrait of the betrayal of black culture in America. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$16.00 US
Feb 01, 1993
Paperback
400 Pages
Penguin Classics

Romance in Marseille
978-0-14-313422-0
The pioneering novel of physical disability, transatlantic travel, and black international politics. A vital document of black modernism and one of the earliest overtly queer fictions in the African American tradition. Published for the first time. A Penguin Classic A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice/Staff Pick
$16.00 US
Feb 11, 2020
Paperback
224 Pages
Penguin Classics