From p. 140:
Othello did not know how long he sat in the garden after Desdemona left. It could have been an hour or an eon. Grief had substituted itself for time. While the stars and the moon moved across the night sky, grief held him suspended outside time where there was no forward or backward.
In grief he was more alone than he had ever thought possible. No one had warned him that to love meant to risk an aloneness so deep and so vast that death would appear convivial. He thought he understood now why, in his country, a man had many wives. There was no danger he would give his soul away to one. Among his people marriage was not so personal. There was affection between a man and his wives, but there was not the concentration of spirit when two focused only on each other.
It was a dangerous way for two people to be. All meaning and significance was lodged in the other. What if that other should decide the meaning of yesterday was of no consequence today? That was where his people were very wise. "Guard your spirit," they said. He remembered the old ones reciting legends about women who stole men's spirits. Without his spirit, a man died.
Long Journey Home, 1972 (Dial Books For Young Readers)
Short stories based on true stories from Black history.
This Strange New Feeling, 1982 (Scholastic Paperbacks)
Three love stories based on true stories from slavery.
Do Lord Remember Me, 1984
A novel inspired by my father's life
And All Our Wounds Forgiven, 1994.
A novel about the civil rights movement and suggested by the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Othello: A Novel, 1995 (Point)
A novelization of the Shakespeare play.
When Dad Killed Mom, 2001. (Harcourt/Silver Whistle)
A novel about what happens to a brother and sister when their father murders their mother.
The Autobiography of God, 2004, (St. Martin's Press)
A novel that probes the question why evil can exist if God is omnisicient, omnipresent, and All-Good.
Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue, 2005, (Hyperion Books)
A novel in dialogue about the largest slave auction in American history.
Time's Memory 2006 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
A novel about an nyama (spirit) that comes to the United States on a slave ship.
Cupid: A Novel, (Harcourt, January, 2007)
A retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche.
Poetry and Photography
On Writing for Children and Other People, 2005 (Dial Books)
A literary memoir discussing the relationship between my life and my writing
Let's Talk About Race. Illustrated by Karen Barbour 2005 (Harper Collins/Amistad)
A book in which I talk personally about race and how to think about it. Wonderful illustrations by Karen Barbour.