“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”
— Zora Neale Hurston

Books by Lori L. Tharps

Hair Story Book Cover

Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America (St. Martin’s)

My first book, co-authored with journalist Ayana Byrd. Hair Story provides a chronological account of Black hair history, politics and culture from the 15th -21st century.

Kinky Gazpacho

Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain (Atria)

Kinky Gazpacho is a travel memoir exploring issues of identity, love and finding oneself in the most unexpected places. Kinky Gazpacho received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and made The Washington Posts’s list of Best Books of 2008.


Substitute Me (Atria)

Substitute Me is a novel about motherhood, race and relationships. The story is told from alternating perspectives of Kate, a new mom going back to work, and Zora, the woman she hires to be her nanny. A real page turner, Substitute Me is a bookclub favorite.

Same Family, Different Colors

Same Family, Different Colors: Confronting Colorism in America’s Diverse Families (Beacon)

With Same Family, Different Colors, I set out to answer one simple question: How do variations in skin tone affect family dynamics? This book is a deep dive into colorism and how it manifests in African American, Latino, Asian American and Mixed Race families and community.