Urban Fiction/Street Lit/Hip Hop Fiction Resources for Librarians

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Urban Fiction

Also called "street", "hip hop", or "ghetto" lit, African-American urban fiction is a popular genre in public libraries, especially with teens and 20-something patrons. It isn't new -- Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines are two authors who wrote urban fiction during the 1970s -- but there seems to be a renewed interest, perhaps sparked by the popularity of Sister Souljah's "The Coldest Winter Ever". Many of the titles are self-published or offered by small publishers, so it is sometimes difficult to find professional reviews. Urban fiction, as opposed to African-American fiction in general, usually features characters living in gritty urban areas and involved in drug dealing, gang violence, and/or prostitution. Titles often contain graphic sex and violence, so the addition of these books to teen areas of the library is controversial. However, their high appeal to otherwise reluctant readers makes them valuable as a way of connecting with young patrons.


[edit] Book Lists

Urban Fiction Booklist -- September 2009 -- Miranda Doyle [1]
EveryDay Life by MG Hardie [2] -- July 2008]]
New Urban Fiction -- May 2007 -- from Miranda Doyle
Urban Fiction Booklist
Sex, Drugs, and Drama: More Books Like "The Coldest Winter Ever" VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) VOYA article
Urban/Street Lit Reading List Suitable for Public Library Collections by Vanessa J. Morris Urban/Street Lit/Public
Urban/Street Lit Reading List Suitable for School Library Collections (Grades 6 and Up) by Vanessa J. Morris Urban/Street Lit/School
Urban Fiction Resources by Vanessa J. Morris Urban Fiction Papers & Booklists

My Favorite Urban Fiction Titles for Teens, from Miranda Doyle, San Francisco
Urban Fiction for Teen -- Library Summer Camp 2009 -- Miranda Doyle Powerpoint
Latino Urban Fiction/Nonfiction List -- Miranda DoyleList

Urban Teen Fiction [3]

[edit] Publishers/Popular Titles/Authors

The Cartel Publications The Cartel Publications
Triple Crown Publications Triple Crown Publications
Red Bud Ave Publications LLC Red Bud Ave Publications
Macavelli Press Macavelli Press
Prioritybooks Publications LLC Prioritybooks Publications
Q-Boro Books Q-Boro Books
GHETTOHEAT www.ghettoheat.com GHETTOHEAT
Jazoli Publishing / Truth Hurts THUGS ARE FOR FUN series www.jazolipublishing.com Jazoli Publishing / Truth Hurts Pub
Kensington Books' Dafina Dafina
Simon and Schuster's Atria/Strebor Books Atria/Strebor
St. Martin's Griffin paperbacks St. Martins
Xlibris Corporation The Street Life Series
Random House - One World One World
Urban Books Urban Books
Urban Literature LLC. - Urban Literature

[edit] Review/Discussion Web Sites

Street Fiction: Urban Fiction Book Reviews streetfiction.org
Raw Sistaz Blog and reviews
Black issues book review Black Issues
QBR: The Black Book Review QBR
Urban Book Reviews Urban Reviews
Thumper's Corner Thumpers
Coast2Coast Readers Coast2Coast
Essence Forums Essence
The Urban Book Source Voice of Urban Literature
Streetwise Urban Fiction Library Journal July 15 2006
Library Journal publishes a monthly column reviewing recent Urban Fiction/Street Lit books called The Word on Street Lit.
(To find The Word of Street Lit articles, go to Library Journaland type "word on street lit".)

[edit] Bestseller Lists

There are no definitive, well-established sources that can be used to determine what are the bestselling Urban Fiction/Street Lit books as there are for general Fiction books. The sources shown below list bestsellers for African-American Fiction in general but include books considered as Urban Fiction or Street Lit. While these lists are not as comprehensive as the New York Times or Publishers Weekly bestsellers lists, they are helpful for developing an Urban Fiction/Street Lit collection for a public library.

African American Literature Book Club AALBC Bestsellers Lists (includes Urban Fiction and Street Lit)
Black Expressions Book Club Black Expressions New Releases and Bestsellers
Books of Soul - lists Urban Fiction Bestsellers Books of Soul Bestsellers
Essence Magazine - search for "essence book club" for bestsellers lists Essence

[edit] Bookseller Lists

Mosaicbooks.com All African American Literature to include Urban Fiction.
African American Literature Book Club-Urban/Street Fiction list African American Literature Book Club (AALBC)
Black Expressions Urban titles for sale Black Expressions
Black Books Direct Urban Fiction List Black Books Direct
Hip Hop Books for Urban Culture Hip Hop Books
Urban Reviews Urban Reviews
Street Gangs' Book Club Bookclub
Hood Stories Books
CB Book Distribution CB
The Urban Book Source Voice of Urban Literature

[edit] Articles for Librarians

Takin' It To The Streets (VOYA) [4] Street Fight (School Library Journal) [5]
The Word on the Street No. 1 Library Journal February 7 2008
Streetwise Urban Fiction Library Journal July 15 2006
Library Journal Street Lit Takes a Hit Library Journal
Selling Urban Fiction (article) Publisher’s Weekly, 1/06 Publisher's Weekly
Library School Dissertation: Street Lit Novels and Triangle-Area Public Libraries: A Search through the OPACS (Online Public Access Catalogs)Street Lit
What Librarians Say About Street Lit -- SLJ Feb. 2009 [6]

[edit] General Articles

Urban Book Source.com Hip Hop Fiction Beefs
Urban Book Source.com Urban Lit is Dead!
New York Times 10/08 From the Streets to the Libraries
Colorlines The Rise of Street Literature June 2008 Rise of Street Literature
Seattle Times, 2005 Hip Hop Fiction Drawing More Readers to Black Lit Seattle Times
Wikipedia article on Urban Fiction Wikepedia Wikepedia
Columbia News Service Street Lit Goes Legit Columbia News Service
E! Online 50 Cent in Da Books G-Unit Books
Philadelphia Weekly column critical of the genre Ghetto Fiction
Christian Science Monitor article Gritty Street Lit
Washington Post: New Books in the Hood Washington Post Article
NY Times: Street Lit with Publishing Cred Street Lit
NPR: Readers Embrace "Ghetto Lit" Genre NPR
San Francisco Chronicle: Hip Hop Lit is full of grit [7]
Salon: Candy Licker: A best-selling book about cunnilingus and thugs. Candy Licker
Newsweek: It's Gangsta Lit Newsweek article