A Finalist for the 2016 National Book Award
New York Times Bestseller
A SeattleTimes pick for Summer Reading Roundup 2017
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.
Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
Like Louise Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Every page of this concise, beautiful book sparkled with truth and poetry. Jacqueline Woodson—who won the National Book Award for her children’s book Brown Girl Dreaming—conjures up the childhood memories of August, a motherless daughter “sharing the weight of growing up Girl in Brooklyn” in the ‘70s with her three best friends. A gift to all the senses, Woodson’s novella reverberates with the boom bass, danger, and promise of a hot summer night in the city.
In her first adult novel in 20 years, acclaimed children's and YA author Woodson (winner of the National Book Award for her last book, Brown Girl Dreaming) combines grit and beauty in a series of stunning vignettes, painting a vivid mural of what it was like to grow up African-American in Brooklyn during the 1970s. When August, an anthropologist who has studied the funeral traditions of different cultures, revisits her old neighborhood after her father's death, her reunion with a brother and a chance encounter with an old friend bring back a flood of childhood memories. Flashbacks depict the isolation she felt moving from rural Tennessee to New York and show how her later years were influenced by the black power movement, nearby street violence, her father's religious conversion, and her mother's haunting absence. August's memories of her Brooklyn companions a tightly knit group of neighborhood girls are memorable and profound. There's dancer Angela, who keeps her home life a carefully guarded secret; beautiful Gigi, who loses her innocence too young; and Sylvia, "diamonded over, brilliant," whose strict father wants her to study law. With dreams as varied as their conflicts, the young women confront dangers lurking on the streets, discover first love, and pave paths that will eventually lead them in different directions. Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman's life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.
Like a distant memory, “Another Brooklyn” filled me with a longing to know more than the mere snippets of these four girls’ lives than we’re given. Haunting, melancholy and beautiful all at once.