Oldie but goodie: “I Love Urban Fiction…And?”

Here’s a blog post I did years ago on why I write–and read–urban fiction. Get into it…


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I LOVE Urban Fiction

I love to read just as much as I love to write. My taste vary from Cornell West to Zane to Tina McElroy Ansa (come back Tina) to Octavia Butler. But I have a special fondness for “urban fiction”.

For me, urban fiction is not just stories about hustlers and hoes (as reported by the genre’s detractors) but any story told in an urban environment. Period. Many different sub-genres can emerge, of course. Regardless of what the critics say, urban fiction is diverse. I don’t really care if the story is about hustlers (i.e. Donald Goines, Nikki Turner, K’wan); is set in the hip-hip industry (i.e. Noire); deals with girls coming of age (Louise Merriweather’s Daddy was a Number Runner, Rosa Guy’s Edith Jackson, Omar Tyree’s Flyy Girl or Sistah Souljah’s Coldest Winter Ever); is just a good whodunit/mystery (Valerie Wilson Wesley’s Tamara Hayle series set in Newark or Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series); speaks on love and romance (Nelson George’s Urban Romance or Nick Chiles and Denene’s Millner’s Love Story ); is a story about a single mother struggling to raise her children in the “inner-city” (Terry McMillan’s Mama); is just straight drama (Miasha’s Secret Society, Live & Learn and Show and Tell written under my real name Niobia Bryant, or any of the Hoodwives books); or are young adult novels (L. Divine’s Drama High series). There are a variety of urban fiction books out there. Some authors who have written books set in urban environments are even considered literary–The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor is a classic.

To read the rest–> “I Love Urban Fiction…and?”