The National Book Award-winning novel—and contemporary classic—that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor
“[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life . . . Miss Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off triumphantly.” —The New York Times Book Review
This e-book includes a foreword by Tayari Jones.
In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creating a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and openhearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects—a common prison and a shared home. Naylor renders both loving and painful human experiences with simple eloquence and uncommon intuition. Adapted into a 1989 ABC miniseries starring Oprah Winfrey, The Women of Brewster Place is a touching and unforgettable read.
Fifteen years after publishing The Women of Brewster Place, Naylor revisits that pocket of an unnamed modern city and animates it with a fresh, compelling cast. Brewster Place is populated almost exclusively by African Americans driven there by circumstance rather than by choice. Despite their various misfortunes, the residents are committed to each other and to the preservation of their community. Ben, a neighborhood janitor (and chorus) resurrected from the previous Brewster Place novel, narrates seven tales of neighborhood men and the women who love them. Their travails feature the familiar ills of the inner city, yet Naylor lends these archetypal situations complexity and depth: Basil yearns to be the kind of father he never had but chooses a path that leads to heartbreak; Eugene's restlessness in his marriage and friendship with a transsexual force him to face a difficult fact about himself; Reverend Moreland T. Woods rehearses his political aspirations with maneuvers on his church's board; and C.C. Baker, involved in local drug trafficking, keeps a startling truth from the police. Naylor neatly binds the stories' themes together with Ben's narration and a concluding corner-barbershop scene that offer readers a grace note of optimism that is as credible as it is moving. Author tour.