Fiction is essential to understanding the human spirit. It is the closest we can ever come to truly walking in another person's shoes, to feeling their desperation, their hope, their joy, and their fears. Fiction helps us make sense of the harsh reality of life and allows us to put some sort of sequence and meaning behind the randomness. Fiction is a map of lives lived, an exploration of dreams, an instruction manual for survival and a beacon of light in the darkest of days. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously wrote "Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures."
When Moonlight won this year's Oscar for best picture, it put a spotlight on the importance of stories that explore diversity and inspire conversation. These six exceptional novels give us a window into lives that have been thrust into the most difficult of obstacles. We can experience, through gorgeous prose and riveting plots, the heroic journeys of men and women facing racism, hatred, bigotry condemnation, fear, hope, and ultimately survival.