Don’t Knock ‘Em ‘Til You Read Them: Urban Lit Novelists And 14 Books That Rival Reality Drama

January 21, 2013 ‐ By Cecily Michelle
"Woman reading a book pf"

We all know that reality TV has transformed into one of the most influential forms of pop culture today. Whether we’re writing about them, talking about them, composing funny pictures of our favorite reality stars on Instagram, or telling our friends to have several seats because they ain’t about this life while making the Stevie J rat face, they seem to affect almost every facet of our lives. As popular as they are, reality television can never replace the great amount of action and drama that we get from reading a captivating novel. And with the skills that these 13 writers possess, many of you would agree that reality TV doesn’t even come close when it comes to being as gripping as the work of these urban novelists.

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  • Renea

    Kalico Jones invented the term “street lit”. “Street tales” over 12 years ago. Her book “when Gucci came first”(true takes of a tramp) and its two additional parts are being made into a movie. She was before all these authors. Check the stats.

  • IllyPhilly

    I like Shontaine’s stuff.

  • MsHarris

    How do you leave out Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim!! They are the original hood writers!! and then to further discredit this list the fact that you don’t have Ashley and JaQauvis is an insult to avid urban literature readers!!

  • LOVE K’wan!! I’m in his readers group on FB, he actually interacts with the readers, always gives us sneak peaks to what he’s working on, and the conversations be LIVE!! LOL… been an avid reader since I could remember, but fell in LOVE with street lit after reading TCWE… absolutely can NOT wait until Porsche’s story drops!! 🙂

  • Of course you’ve got Zane and Sistah Soldier #greats but that White LInes by Tracy Brown is like in my top 5!

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    I’m surprised Noire’s Thong on Fire didn’t make it. Her books get repetitive but that one is worth reading again for me. . .

  • Age

    I can’t believe the late AMAZING Leslie “L.A” Banks didn’t make this list.. Every genre she’s dabbled her hand in she mastered. Not to mention her specialty in the sci-fi paranormal. My favorite seris from her and possible all-tme is her “vampire huntress legends”

  • phat504

    This was a pretty good list but what about mary b morrison, omar tyree, and eric jerome dickey… they’re styles may not be as gritty as some of the authors mentioned but they know how to keep u coming back and making u feel personally connected to each character they’ve introduced… books like soulmates dissipate, somebody’s gotta be in top, sweeter than honey, and fly girl were main staples in my personal library

    • Na Na

      Yes Mary B. Morison is the truth! And her God Don’t Like series is truly off the chain. Less drugs and guns but equally urban and entertaining.

      • Chanda

        ugh, that’s Mary Monroe writing the God Don’t books..

    • UGGGGGGGGHHHHHhh how could they forget EJD but he’s kinda past these authors * I squint my eyes while saying*

  • Lola

    can someone list all the authors in the comment section so I don’t have to click ?

    • Lola

      I’m not about that click life .. the laziness is real out here !

  • Complaint

    MadameNoire – your website needs help. Going from page to page is a chore and boring. I rarely finish the article because you have 15 pages to go to. Too much!

  • To add to the list Meesha Mink, Diamond, Brenda Hampton just to name a few lol

  • bullheadedtaurus

    I will say Wahida’s books are better than some tv shows, especially the Thug series. I can’t believe Ashley&JaQuavis are not on this list though!!

    • RIGHT!!! Both the Murderville & Prada Plan series are CLASSICS!! I would’ve included The Cartel series, but we not even getting ready to discuss how they took that series ALL the way left!!

  • J.Denise

    I loved White Lines. Tracy Brown is amazing.

  • Miyako

    I’ve read several of these books. Some better than others. I do wish authors of Urban fiction would do a better job when it comes to the writing and grammar in their books.

    • IllyPhilly

      Agreed with last part “urban” lit is the same damn thing over and over in pretty much the same way. TCWE was entertaining because Winter was an complete idiot and the perfect example of what goes down. The rest -meh. Donald Goines should be on this list.

      • Kahekili

        I’ve never read any of his books.

  • rzakia

    I’m so happy that I read this article and clicked to the end. I’m so excited about the new Sister Souljah book. Didn’t know it was coming out this month though. It will certainly be on my list of must reads.

    • SheBe

      I’m too excited about Sister Souljahs new book too. Reserved my copy last month.

    • I KNOW! I didn’t know either! Thanks gawd I logged in today… off to google I go to find and get this book!

    • IllyPhilly

      Was it any good?