Anthologies are highly underrated in the book world, but they can be a great way to discover new writers to love. Think about it: a bunch of great, engaging stories, all bound together for you to breeze through all at once or savor one at a time. Typically anthologies are the best of the best—carefully curated and edited, every story inside packs a punch. If you’re struggling to find time to read, or if you’re feeling stuck and are looking to discover something new, these diverse anthologies are a great place to start.
One of the great things about anthologies is that they can be pretty niche, so there’s something for everyone. Along with the increasing visibility of marginalized voices in literature, there has been an increase in collections focused on diversity and underrepresented groups. Covering everything from diaspora to romance, these five intersectional and diverse anthologies are sure to brighten up your shelves (and they’ll help you hit one of your Read Harder tasks!)
Everyday People: The Color of Life—a Short Story Anthology edited by Jennifer Baker
Jennifer Baker is the woman behind the Minorities in Publishing podcast and has been a diversity advocate for years. Everyday People showcases the truth and fullness of people of color. This collection includes stories by heavy hitters like Alexander Chee and Junot Díaz alongside standouts like Jason Reynolds, Yiyun Li, Hasanthika Sirisena, and Brandon Taylor.
Go Home! edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Brought to life by Feminist Press in collaboration with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Go Home! is an anthology on Asian diaspora and includes fiction, memoir, and poetry. With a forward by Viet Thanh Nguyen and pieces by Alexander Chee, Alice Sola Kim, Rajiv Mohabir, and more, this is a can’t-miss collection.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman
A collection of folklore and mythology of East and South Asia, reimagined by some incredible writers from that region. Editor Ellen Oh is the CEO of We Need Diverse Books, and Elsie Chapman (who also works with WNDB) is a YA writer herself, so you know their selections are great. Authors include: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Roshani Chokshi, and Melissa de la Cruz.
All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell
All Out is a queer YA historical romance anthology featuring a variety of cultures and stories. Including stories by Anna-Marie McLemore, Tehlor Kay Mejia, and Tess Sharpe, this one is a fantastic show of queer representation.
Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer
If you’ve just finished the Handmaid’s Tale and you’re looking for some more inspiration to take down the patriarchy, pick up this anthology. This collection includes superstars like Angela Carter, Octavia Butler, and the late great Ursula K. Le Guin. Ann VanderMeer and husband/Annihilation writer Jeff VanderMeer have edited several sci-fi anthologies together, all worth checking out.