Urban Fiction, also known as Urban Literature, Street Fiction, Gangsta Lit, Ghetto Lit, or Hip-Hop Fiction, is a relatively new but fast growing genre in the world of literature. Urban fiction excels in its compelling portrayals of modern characters dealing with the gritty realities of life on the urban streets. Its stories and characters help expose problems facing the black community. According to popular Urban Fiction author Teri Woods:
“The content is shedding light on a people who were, for many years, swept under the rug. It’s showing you its world, it’s giving you that whole lifestyle of drug infestation and poverty, which are the two biggest problems in black America. If you want to sweep that exposure under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist, then it’s not going to fix the problem.”
The gritty reality and topics of this genre are what make it popular. According to Kevin Johnson, a Harlem, New York street vendor, “They are popular because they reflect the reality of the black experience, readers identify themselves with the characters and they can relate to those stories.” In addition to its intense and abrasive story lines, attention grabbing titles and ‘eye popping’ cover art also help in getting urban fiction books selected by patrons.
At PSC we are growing our collection of Urban Fiction novels. Stop by the library to check out our Urban Fiction display and the rest of our collection!