8 Summer 2016 Releases For Lovers Of Multicultural Literature

If you are like me and prefer your reading to be diverse and multicultural, then you probably scour each month’s releases for new authors to read and support.

Or perhaps you don’t… If so, I’m here to help!

The end of April 2016 was especially exciting due to the release of these wonderful Science Fiction and Fantasy novels:

In due time, I will buy and read all three of these books. You should too!

However, if fantastical tales aren’t your thing, then you might want to consider the 8 summer 2016 releases below. 

These upcoming releases will take you from India to New Orleans, Ghana, New York, Ecuador, Mexico, and an ancient fantasy world. There’s something here for everyone. 

 Are you anticipating any of these titles? 

Yoga of Max's Discontent

Yoga of Max’s Discontent – by Karan Bajaj

  • Expected publication: May 3rd 2016 by Riverhead Books
  • Set in South India
  • A gripping adventure story
  • A “contemporary take on man’s classic quest for transcendence.”

From Goodreads:

Max Pzoras is the poster child for the American Dream. The child of Greek immigrants who grew up in a dangerous New York housing project, he triumphed over his upbringing and became a successful Wall Street analyst. Yet on the frigid December night he’s involved in a violent street scuffle, Max begins to confront questions about suffering and mortality that have dogged him since his mother’s death.


His search takes him to the farthest reaches of India, where he encounters a mysterious night market, almost freezes to death on a hike up the Himalayas, and finds himself in an ashram in a drought-stricken village in South India. As Max seeks answers to questions that have bedeviled him—can yogis walk on water and live for 200 years without aging? Can a flesh-and-blood man ever achieve nirvana?—he struggles to overcome his skepticism and the pull of family tugging him home. In an ultimate bid for answers, he embarks on a dangerous solitary meditation in a freezing Himalayan cave, where his physical and spiritual endurance is put to its most extreme test.


By turns a gripping adventure story and a journey of tremendous inner transformation, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent is a contemporary take on man’s classic quest for transcendence.



Even if the sky falls by Mia Garcia

Even If The Sky Falls – by Mia Garcia

  • Expected publication: May 10th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
  • YA Lit, set in New Orleans during Mardi Gras
  • A hurricane hits the city, perhaps Katrina?

From Goodreads:

All she needs is one night to be anyone she wants.


Julie is desperate for a change. So she heads to New Orleans with her youth group to rebuild houses and pretend her life isn’t a total mess. But between her super-clingy team leader and her way-too-chipper companions, Julie feels more trapped than ever.


In a moment of daring, she ditches her work clothes for DIY fairy wings and heads straight into the heart of Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, where she locks eyes with Miles, an utterly irresistible guy with a complicated story of his own. And for once, Julie isn’t looking back. She jumps at the chance to see the real New Orleans, and in one surreal night, they dance under the stars, share their most shameful secrets, and fall in love.


But their adventure takes an unexpected turn when an oncoming hurricane changes course. As the storm gains power and Julie is pulled back into chaos she finds pretending everything is fine is no longer an option.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing – by Yaa Gyasi

  • Expected publication: June 7th 2016 by Knopf
  • Set in Ghana and America during the Civil War
  • A story of two long-lost sisters
  • A multi-generational epic that spans hundreds of years

From Goodreads:

A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.


Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and will live in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle, raising children who will be sent abroad to be educated before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the empire. Esi, imprisoned beneath Effia in the Castle’s women’s dungeon and then shipped off on a boat bound for America, will be sold into slavery. Stretching from the wars of Ghana to slavery and the Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the American South to the Great Migration to twentieth-century Harlem, Yaa Gyasi’s novel moves through histories and geographies and captures — with outstanding economy and force — the troubled spirit of our own nation. She has written a modern masterpiece.


Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam

Rich and Pretty – by Rumaan Alam 

  • Expected publication: June 7th 2016 by Ecco
  • Set in New York; story follows two best friends
  • about “how the attachments we form in childhood shift as we adapt to our adult lives”

From Goodreads:

This irresistible debut, set in contemporary New York, provides a sharp, insightful look into how the relationship between two best friends changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning how to live adult lives.


As close as sisters for twenty years, Sarah and Lauren have been together through high school and college, first jobs and first loves, the uncertainties of their twenties and the realities of their thirties.


Sarah, the only child of a prominent intellectual and a socialite, works at a charity and is methodically planning her wedding. Lauren—beautiful, independent, and unpredictable—is single and working in publishing, deflecting her parents’ worries and questions about her life and future by trying not to think about it herself. Each woman envies—and is horrified by—particular aspects of the other’s life, topics of conversation they avoid with masterful linguistic pirouettes.


Once, Sarah and Lauren were inseparable; for a long a time now, they’ve been apart. Can two women who rarely see one other, selectively share secrets, and lead different lives still call themselves best friends? Is it their abiding connection—or just force of habit—that keeps them together?


With impeccable style, biting humor, and a keen sense of detail, Rumaan Alam deftly explores how the attachments we form in childhood shift as we adapt to our adult lives—and how the bonds of friendship endure, even when our paths diverge.

A Safe Place With You by Cesar L. Baquerizo

A Safe Place With You – by Cesar L. Baquerizo 

  • Expected publication: June 14th 2016 by Pen Name Publishing
  • Set in Ecuador during a time when homosexuality was considered illegal
  • Inspired by true events

From Goodreads:

“Grow And Live Normally” is a clinic in Ecuador that was opened to treat general addictions before moving to what the religious families viewed as the ultimate sin – homosexuality. The center boasts that they alone are able to cure families of this hidden secret inflicting their children. The unfortunate youths are misunderstood in a time when homosexuality was not just frowned upon, but also illegal. They are sent to the clinic by their families where they are held against their will in the sexual reorientation wing. They find themselves subjected to physical and emotional trauma that tests their strength to survive and their courage to fight for their identities.


Inspired by true events, “A Safe Place With You” follows a young man named Tomás Díaz and his group of new found friends as they try to find themselves during an era of heightened ignorance and hatred.


Will they be able to survive the closed doors of Grow and Live Normally?


At its core, this is a story about love.


Hunger by Roxane Gay


Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body – by Roxane Gay

  • Expected publication: June 14th 2016 by HarperCollins
  • an “honest memoir of food, weight, self-image”
  • Explores the idea of what it means to love and take care of your body

From Goodreads:

From the bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself


I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.


In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.


With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes. (less)


The Transmigration of Bodies by Yurri Herrera

The Transmigration of Bodies – by Yuri Herrera

  • Expected publication: July 5th 2016 by And Other Stories
  • From the writer of Signs Preceding the End of the World 
  • a noirish tragedy that echoes Romeo and Juliet

From Goodreads:

A plague has brought death to the city. Two feuding crime families with blood on their hands need our hard-boiled hero, The Redeemer, to broker peace. Both his instincts and the vacant streets warn him to stay indoors, but The Redeemer ventures out into the city’s underbelly to arrange for the exchange of the bodies they hold hostage.



Yuri Herrera’s novel is a response to the violence of contemporary Mexico. With echoes of Romeo and Juliet, Roberto Bolaño and Raymond Chandler, The Transmigration of Bodies is a noirish tragedy and a tribute to those bodies – loved, sanctified, lusted after, and defiled – that violent crime has touched.



Yuri Herrera was born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970. His English-language debut Signs Preceding the End of the World was published in 2015 to great acclaim. He teaches at the University of Tulane, New Orleans.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night – by Sabaa Tahir

  • Expected publication: August 30th 2016 by HarperVoyager
  • Hotly anticipated sequel to An Ember in the Ashes – enough said

From Goodreads:

A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.


In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

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17 thoughts on “8 Summer 2016 Releases For Lovers Of Multicultural Literature

  1. Oh I really want to try Ahdieh’s series, everyone’s gushing about it! I cannot wait for Hunger, I rarely follow release dates etc, but this one caught my eye. Also waiting for Castillo’s memoit and the new Jemisin. I love the look of Transmigration from your list. It might take me.a.while to get to these new works, but I am.excited all the same.

    1. I really do too. I actually haven’t started the series yet, but I already own the first book in the series. I WILL read more YA fiction this month. It’s one of my goals.

      Omg, now that you mentioned Jemisin, that reminds me that I have to read her Nebula nominated novel. The Grace of Kings as well!! ahhh. I wanted to do that before the winners were announced. I now have 2 weeks. Yikes. Better get started…

  2. I’m excited to read these as well. Thanks for the great suggestions. I’m especillay interested in Homegoing, Hunger, A Safe Place with You and Even if the Sky Falls (I haven’t read any Hurricane Katrina Lit and this sound intruiging!) Also, I’m never mad at the intersection of diversity and sci-fi! I’ll be checking back for your thoughts!

  3. Many of these sound good to me! I love your lists – I know they’re here when I need to come back to them.
    I still need to read Herrera’s Signs Proceeding the End of the World! A Safe Place With You also sounds good, especially because it’s inspired by a true story. That always appeals to me.

  4. Thanks for highlighting upcoming diverse releases!

    I am looking forward to reading Homegoing and DYING to read Roxane Gay’s Hunger!! (Body/weight/food issue books are dear to my heart. And she’s brilliant.)

  5. I have Even if the Sky Falls on my TBR, had it for a while, actually. I love a great contemporary, and I think this one will be pretty good, I hope so! I haven’t read The Wrath and The Dawn yet, but I recently got it, and I’m excited to start. I heard a lot of great things about that title, I hope it’ll live up to the hype! 🙂 Thank you for sharing these recommendations! 🙂

  6. I read The Rose And The Dagger and it is a fantastic sequel to the first! I’m fairly certain I saw Yoga of Max’s Discontent at a bookstore yesterday so it might already be out! (This store had a few titles that are out already but had official May pub. dates) Pre-ordered Hunger months ago, because DUH. I’ve added the remaining books to my list, and have yet to read An Ember In The Ashes. Thanks for these recs! I’m consciously trying to read/buy books by diverse authors that include diverse characters, so this is super helpful!

    1. Good to see you’re on top of it!

      It’s unfortunate that we have to “consciously” seek out these authors because they will be overlooked otherwise. But it’s something that we have to do until there is better representation in the publishing industry overall.

      Thanks for your commitment 🙂 The world needs more readers like you.

      1. I know. It makes me cringe that my reading behavior has so much internalized bias that even as a POC I have to seek out diverse books. I’m glad there’s people like you out there that are pushing for this to be the norm and not a “conscious” effort.

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