Recently, I was asked about short story collections by women of Color, and what a timely thing, too, since I’m planning on reading more short fiction this year. Collections are always a bit complicated for me: on the one hand I want to take my time and savor each story, treat it as a complete work by itself (as should be, unless it’s interconnected stories), but on the other I usually fail and pressure myself to read the whole collection quickly. So this year, I will again start an extra page in my menu for short stories I’ve read. I used to do this a few years ago, but have sadly let it slide. That way I hope to concentrate on a variety of stories, giving each the same attention I would give a novel.
Now, short story collections by women of Color, that covers a lot of ground! So I’m starting with this list of Black lesbian short fiction:
This important 1998 collection showcases Black lesbian coming out experiences. Many of the contributions are short stories but you can also find poems, interviews and essays. Edited by Lisa C. Moore who is also the founder and editor of the amazing RedBone Press, which publishes Black lesbian and gay literature. Note: There is now a second edition that comes with 17 new stories!
A 1996 collection of erotic short fiction, celebrating Black lesbian sexuality and sensuality, also available from RedBone Press! Kathleen E. Morris identifies herself as a militant total femme dyke.
First published in 1995, the Afrekete anthology also includes poetry and nonfiction. It features works by Audre Lorde, Jewelle Gómez, Jacqueline Woodson, Alexis De Veaux and more and was nominated for the Lambda award in 1996.
In her short story collection, American writer and cultural worker Jewelle Gómez (of The Gilda Stories fame) presents Black lesbian speculative fiction set in 1960s Boston and other futures.
A 2006 collection of erotic short fiction about Black lesbian love at different stages., edited by Shonia Brown, author of a novel and independent book publisher.
A recent addition, this collection presents stories about the range of Black lesbian experiences in such genres as romance and SFF. Editor S. Andrea Allen is also the founder and publisher of Black feminist press BLF Press, take a look!
This collection isn’t out yet, but will be released June 20, 2017 ( also by BLF Press)! Krystal A. Smith is a “Black lesbian writer of poetry and speculative fiction.”
LaShonda Barnett is an author, radio host and scholar, and also the author of the novel Jam! On the Vine. Her short story collection from 1999 presents tales of Black lesbian women from different walks of life.
Anondra “Kat” Williams is a writer and poet as well as a radio host and the author of another collection, SistaGirl. Black Girl Love collects more than 25 short stories and poems about Black lesbians on love, life and sex.
Sheree L. Greer is an author and the host of Oral Fixation, an LGBTQ Open Mic series. Her 2012 book is a short collection about the courage, joy, pain and pleasure of love and relationships.
How do you read short story collections? And have you read any of the works above?
For all the Black lesbian lit recommendations, visit Rena’s excellent blog Sistahs on the Shelf.
For more generally diverse short story collections, see for example Naz’ wonderful list “Give Short Fiction A Chance” here.