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News & Features » May 2016 » Bernice L. McFadden’s Top 5 Historical Novels

Bernice L. McFadden’s Top 5 Historical Novels

Bernice L. McFadden’s latest novel, The Book of Harlan, is a work of historical fiction rooted in history that is rarely discussed — it tells the story of two African American musicians who are captured by the Nazis in Paris and imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Called “simply miraculous” in a rave review from the Washington Post, the book is a gorgeous, affecting epic of one musician’s rise and fall through Harlem, Occupied Paris, and beyond.

To celebrate the release of her new novel, we asked McFadden to name her top 5 historical novels:



Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow: a unique work of historical fiction that, much like McFadden’s own novels, blends fictional and historical figures together in the NYC area between 1902 and 1912.



The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines: depicts the struggles of African Americans in the South at the end of the Civil War as seen through the eyes of the narrator, a young girl.



Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill: an award-winning novel that captures one woman’s remarkable experiences across six decades and three continents.



The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: a novel about a nine-year-old girl living in Germany during World War II whose experiences are narrated by Death, who describes both the beauty and destruction of life in this era.



March by Geraldine Brooks: a retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women from the point of view of Alcott’s protagonists’ absent father.



Bernice L. McFadden

BERNICE L. McFADDEN is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including SugarLoving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), and Glorious, which was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a three-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of three awards from the BCALA. McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Posted: May 26, 2016

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