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Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson


Overview -

National Book Award Finalist

NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller

29th Lambda Literary Awards Finalist

NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work

An NPR Best Book of 2016

Buzzfeed's pick for Best Fiction of 2016

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award--winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.  Read more...


 
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More About Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
 
 
 
Overview

National Book Award Finalist

NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller

29th Lambda Literary Awards Finalist

NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work

An NPR Best Book of 2016

Buzzfeed's pick for Best Fiction of 2016

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.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062359988
  • ISBN-10: 0062359983
  • Publisher: Amistad Press
  • Publish Date: August 2016
  • Page Count: 192


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > African American - General
Books > Fiction > Cultural Heritage
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-04-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

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. (Aug.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Growing up in 1970s Brooklyn

The title of Jacqueline Woodson’s brief, powerful first novel for adults, Another Brooklyn, could mean many things. Is it an acknowledgment of the difference between the Brooklyn of the 1970s and today’s hipster kingdom? Is it meant to distinguish her gritty book from Colm Tóibín’s bestseller, Brooklyn, which became an Academy Award-winning film? Or is Woodson referring to the ways in which memory can change a place in our minds as the years go on?

Woodson—a National Book Award winner for Brown Girl Dreaming—introduces her narrator, August, as she looks back on her arrival as a young girl to 1970s Brooklyn, in the midst of upheaval that includes white flight and poverty. August’s parents left behind a farm in Tennessee, and Woodson’s descriptions of both rural and urban settings are vivid and poetic. As she approaches her teens, August befriends three tough but vulnerable girls. The four friends pursue divergent dreams, which are meant to transport them from Brooklyn, but are also fueled by their experiences there. Powerful subplots explore the fates of August’s uncle, drafted to Vietnam, and August’s mother, drifting off into madness.

Another Brooklyn is so slim as to almost be a novella, and the scenes are brief and impressionistic, sometimes just a few sentences long. This, however, does not detract from the vibrancy of this coming-of-age story. Though August—and most of the characters in the book—are at times overwhelmed or enraged, they persevere. A question posed by August late in the book resonates with nearly all of the characters in this tender yet searing novel: “How do you begin to tell your own story?”

 

This article was originally published in the August 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews