Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My HeartRead about another book on the list.
Joyce Carol Oates
Oates refuses to stay in the domestic personal sphere. Her many titles dig courageously into race and class, popular culture, politics and history, all of them with truly believable characters at their core. This one depicts two families in a small upstate New York city, one white and one black, separated by the invisible colour line until a violent act links them irrevocably. The story slides into the complex morass of entrenched racism. Oates' writing is so vivid, so fresh and fluid, so amazingly insightful, that the book is more a cause for wonder than despair.