Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 181
• Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970) is a novel about a lonely black girl, Pecola Breedlove, living in Ohio in the 1940s. Bombarded by white, middle-class perceptions of beauty and value, Pecola becomes obsessed with having the bluest eyes. The novel shows what it is like to be a young black girl in a culture defined by white, middle-class values.
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• How to Breathe Underwater (2003), by Julie Orringer, is a highly praised collection of stories about adolescent girls—the difficulties they face as they grow up and their ability to survive the challenges and successfully emerge into young adulthood.
• The Sea Birds Are Still Alive (1982), by Toni Cade Bambara, contains ten stories about the lives of black people by one of the leading late twentieth-century African American writers.
• Children of the Night: The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, 1967 to the Present (1997), edited by Gloria Naylor, contains thirty-seven stories that together depict the diversity of black life. The anthology includes such well-established writers as Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Charles Johnson, Ralph Ellison, Jamaica Kincaid, and Ntozake Shange, as well as newer writers.