Homepage - Charmaine Wilkerson

Debut Novel

Black Cake

Now a Hulu original series for the screen

A New York Times instant bestseller

A #ReadWithJenna book club pick (Today Show)

One of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2022

“Black Cake is a beautiful, deeply resonant story of children trying to understand the mother they have lost” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising.

Byron and Benny haven’t seen each other in years. Now these estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s hidden past. Theirs is a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her legendary black cake. This is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names, can shape relationships and history.


Charmaine Wilkerson

is from New York and has lived in Jamaica and Italy.

A graduate of Barnard College and Stanford University, she is a former news and communication professional whose award-winning short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and magazines. Her debut novel Black Cake is now available from booksellers and libraries. Charmaine is represented by Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. 

Read Charmaine’s essay in ELLE magazine about the inspiration behind Black Cake.

Press coverage

‘Black Cake’ rises to the challenge of adapting Charmaine Wilkerson’s mystery ”

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Hulu’s Tantalizing New Food Mystery Pulls Off Something I’ve Never Seen on TV”

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‘Black Cake’ rises to the challenge of adapting Charmaine Wilkerson’s mystery”

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In the New Hulu Series Black Cake, a Mother’s Secrets Send Shock Waves Through a Family”

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2023 Entertainment Preview: 14 Black TV Shows To Watch This Year”

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Barack Obama's Annual Flex: His Favorite Movies and Books of 2022”

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Here are Barack Obama's 13 favorite books of 2022”

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These Are Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2022”

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Seattle Times: 8 brand-new paperbacks perfect for holiday gifts”

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Culturefile: Charmaine Wilkerson's Delectable Debut”


23 books that are absolute page-turners, according to Goodreads”


Top 10 books about starting afresh”

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'Black Cake': Chipo Chung and Anthony Mark Barrow Join Hulu Drama Series”

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'Black Cake': Glynn Turman & Sonita Henry Join Hulu Drama”

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The Irish Times: Books in brief”

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Barack Obama's Annual Summer Reading List Is Here”

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'Black Cake': Lashay Anderson, Faith Alabi & Ahmed Elhaj Join Hulu Drama Series”

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Here are the 14 books that NPR staff and critics are loving the most so far this year”

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Great holiday escapes: Wherever you're going, slip one or two of these into your bag”

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25 of the Best Books of 2022 (So Far)”

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The best novels to read on the beach”

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8 Books for Your Mother-Daughter Book Club”

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BBC: The 14 best books of the year so far”

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22 of 2022's Top New Books (So Far)”

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These Contemporary Black Authors Are Loved by Kerry Washington, Barack Obama and More”

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The delectable 'Black Cake' considers how history and chance alter a family”

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PEOPLE Picks the Best New Books of the Week”

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9 New Books We Recommend This Week”

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Your Mother Died. Now She Wants to Tell You Her Secrets.”

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Charmaine Wilkerson's 'Black Cake' is a slice of love”

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Family in Black Cake Is Forged Through Tradition and Invention”

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Meet the Debut Novelist Whose First Book Has Already Been Optioned by Oprah”

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Review: 'Black Cake' a delicious novel in bite-sized chunks”

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Your three cult books for spring”

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The New Book Releases You Need in Your Life”

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Essence: 56 New Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2022”

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It books are the kind readers feel desperate to press into friends’ hands.”

The Rise of the Insta It Book - Grazia

2022 Book Releases to Get Excited About”

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‘Black Cake’ Drama Series From Marissa Jo Cerar, Oprah Winfrey & Aaron Kaplan Ordered By Hulu”

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...immersive, stunningly assured debut”


10 great new books to read this February”