Brown Girl, Brownstones

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Feminist Press, 1981 - Fiction - 324 pages
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Set in Brooklyn during the Depression and World War II, this prize-winning 1959 novel chronicles the efforts of Barbadian immigrants to surmount poverty and racism, and to make their home in a new country. Selina Boyce, the novel's sturdy heroine, is caught between respect for her hard-working, ambitious mother and deep love for her easy-going, romantic father. As she grows into young womanhood, she must forge her own identity, sexuality, and sense of values. "Marshall brings to her characters . . . an instinctive understanding, a generosity, and a free humor that combine to form a style remarkable for its courage, its color, and its natural control."-The New Yorker Suggested for course use in: African-American studies Immigration New York City U.S. literature Paule Marshall is the author of the novels The Chosen Place, The Timeless People; Praisesong for the Widow; and Daughters. She is Hellen Gould Sheppard Professor of Literature and Culture at New York University. Mary Helen Washington is professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, and editor of three collections of fiction by African-American women writers.

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About the author (1981)

Paule Marshall, 1929 - Novelist Paule Marshall was born on April 9, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from Brooklyn College and worked briefly as a librarian before joining Our World magazine in 1953. Marshall's first autobiographical novel "Brown Girl, Brownstones" (1959) is about an American girl of Barbadian parents who travels to their homeland as an adult and was critically acclaimed for its acute rendition of dialogue. "Soul Clap Hands and Sing" (1961) is a collection of four novellas that present four aging men coming to terms with refusing to affirm lasting values. "The Chosen Place, the Timeless People" (1969) takes place on a fictional Caribbean island where a philanthropist attempts to modernize the impoverished and oppressed society. "Praisesong for the Widow" (1983) states her belief that African-Americans need to rediscover their heritage and "Daughters" (1991) tells of a West Indian woman in New York who returns home to assist her father's reelection campaign.

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