Welcome to Bailey's Café, the most mythically real diner you've ever walked into. Presided over by Bailey and his helpmate, Nadine, it is a magnet that draws a wide variety of the "colored" people of 1948, each with a story to tell. Bailey tells us about his love for his strong, quiet wife, and shares his haunting memories of World War II.
Then, one by one, we hear from the café's regulars. There is Sadie, whose addiction to alcohol is second only to her mania for cleanliness; the oddly maternal Eve, whose bordello accepts only fresh flowers as legal tender; Sweet Esther, who takes nothing but white roses for her particular favors; Peaches, whose badly mutilated face is a sharp contrast to her beautiful body; Jesse Bell, who cannot overcome her lust for heroin; Miss Maple (whose real name is Stanley); and Mariam, the Ethiopian child who may be the bearer of a miracle.
Gloria Naylor, author of Women of Brewster Place and Mama Day, has created perhaps her finest work in Bailey's Café. Her wonderful chorus of characters tell tales of woe and fortitude, prejudice and pride. Naylor has transformed the trials of these outcasts into timeless truths about the strengths of people everywhere.