Brown Girl, Brownstones

Brown Girl, Brownstones

Brown Girl Brownstones An unforgettable novel written with pride and anger with rebellion and tears Herald Tribune Book Review Passionate compelling an impressive accomplishment Saturday Review Remarkable for its courage

  • Title: Brown Girl, Brownstones
  • Author: Paule Marshall
  • ISBN: 9780486468327
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Paperback
  • An unforgettable novel, written with pride and anger, with rebellion and tears Herald Tribune Book Review Passionate, compelling an impressive accomplishment Saturday Review Remarkable for its courage, its color, and its natural control The New YorkerSelina s mother wants to stay in Brooklyn and earn enough money to buy a brownstone row house, but her fa An unforgettable novel, written with pride and anger, with rebellion and tears Herald Tribune Book Review Passionate, compelling an impressive accomplishment Saturday Review Remarkable for its courage, its color, and its natural control The New YorkerSelina s mother wants to stay in Brooklyn and earn enough money to buy a brownstone row house, but her father dreams only of returning to his island home Torn between a romantic nostalgia for the past and a driving ambition for the future, Selina also faces the everyday burdens of poverty and racism Written by and about an African American woman, this coming of age story unfolds during the Depression and World War II Its setting a close knit community of immigrants from Barbados is drawn from the author s own experience, as are the lilting accents and vivid idioms of the characters speech Paule Marshall s 1959 novel was among the first to portray the inner life of a young female African American, as well as depicting the cross cultural conflict between West Indians and American blacks It remains a vibrant, compelling tale of self discovery.

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      Published :2019-02-25T22:32:07+00:00

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    4.5 stars rounded upThis is Marshall’s first novel and is semi-autobiographical; set in New York (Brooklyn) and within the Barbadian community, struggling to survive and makes its way. The brownstones of the title are the houses which members of the community aspire to owning. It is a coming of age novel and revolves around Selina Boyce and her mother Silla; two wonderfully created characters who are the most memorable parts of the novel. Silla has very clear aims for her daughters and for her [...]

    Sometime in the 80s I became aware of Paule Marshall and picked up her books whenever I ran across them. Until now, they have set on the shelf unread. I decided to read the earliest of those works, Brown Girl, Brownstones, published in 1959.Marshall follows the “write what you know” instruction in this book. Like Selina, the protagonist, Marshall was American born to recent Barbadian immigrants who grew up in Brooklyn’s brownstones. She would have been close in age to Selina during the 40s [...]

    I read this book many, many years ago - back in Junior High School as a matter of fact. I believe it was the first book that I had ever read by a black woman writer; and Selina's story sounded very familiar to me - despite the fact that my parents had come up to the north from the south. It's definitely the classic coming of age story and quite the one that I needed to hear about back then. I think that after I read this book, I had a completely different approach to writing and story-telling: o [...]

    I remember the year exactly because Professor Elaine Hansen gave me and Lisa, one of my dearest friends ever, an A for our writing and presentation on this one.

    I'm a sucker for female coming of age novels. This is probably because I was not a female when I came of age. This is Virginia Woolf with slightly less stylistic prowess and a plot worth fighting for and a lead who, if asked, you would contemplate drowning yourself for. There's something about the wavering would-be artist realizing that she needs to be a person first and foremost that, to my mind, is something to root for.

    This book blew me away, and it came at the perfect time for me. After the Trayvon Martin verdict, I found myself speechless about issues of race. While friends posted articles and insightful quotes about the topic, I just could not find the words. This book gave me the words to explain the problem of race in our country.But having said all that, this is not a book about "issues." It's a story, and a beautifully rendered one at that. At its heart, it is a coming-of-age narrative of a teenage girl [...]

    Painful is the word that comes to mind. I've just finished this and am trying to figure out how to convey that ache in my chest that I get whenever I read, listen to, or see something powerful that hurts. This is one such instance. Brown Girl, Brownstones shows us how people are shaped by generations worth of circumstance, a pretty amazing feat considering the novel charts the protagonist's coming of age - of a sort of realization - that takes place from 1939 till about the mid 1940s, I'd say. " [...]

    Marshall digs deep into her own past as the daughter of immigrants, shining a light at the same time on the experience of being defined first by your dark skin.What really grabbed me in this novel were the characters and the complicated and ambivalent family and community relationships they inhabit. It's not only immigrants who invest everything in their children and a future dream, who live not their own lives, but sacrifice themselves to an idea of happiness that their children may not want or [...]

    This book was a bit hard for me to get into at first (I didn't know what to expect exactly, and the story was a little slow for me as a result of that in the beginning), but once it started drawing me in, there was no putting it down. I thought it was incredibly written and moving - everything from the language, to the characters, to their quotidian experiences leapt off the page for me and took on greater meaning. I thought it was fascinating to get a glimpse of the under-explored immigrant exp [...]

    Read this for my African Lit class. Hated the beginning, due to the barrage of names and POV swaps. I found it to be extremely jarring and was pissed that I had to read a book like this. I think I actually fell asleep on the train ride home at one point, while trying to read the start, heh.Then something happened, and all of a sudden the story, its characters, and everything else just clicked. I was glued to the pages, albeit, there were moments where the story dragged. At least it was not often [...]

    Beautifully written but totally accessible and easy to read. Set in Brooklyn during WW2. I enjoyed reading about Brownstone living in that era, and it was cool to read someone else describe how magical Prospect Park is to a child. It was published in 1959, but doesn't feel dated at all. I had a problem relating to the protagonist, because I felt so much sympathy for her mother, who I think is supposed to be a more ambiguous figure than I found her to be. Yeah, she kinda' does something backhande [...]

    See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary FlitsI loved this novel of a Bajan family struggling to make good for themselves in 1950s Brooklyn, New York. The immigrant experience is a frequent theme in literature, but I think novels seldom evoke their culture and the clash of inter-generational ideas as well as Paule Marshall does in Brown Girl, Brownstones. Her characters are so vibrantly alive and vividly described that I could easily envisage the city through their eyes. Selina's mother, [...]

    Excellent work. This is a fine coming of age story of a second generation Barbadian girl growing up in Brooklyn during the 1930s into the early 50s. The story reflects the author's own experiences as a second generation American born girl whose parents immigrated from Barbados. The book is from a feminine perspective not simply a girl's. Marshall's vivid prose gives voice to all sorts of Bajan women, and one African American woman. From the text we gather that there may be superficial difference [...]

    Not long after I began reading this book, I wondered why in the world I hadn't read it sooner and why I knew nothing about it when I was a teenager. Modern, complex, and bold, this is a story that will stay with you. It's rare for me to read a novel and constantly think about it when it isn't opened in front of me. Or to find myself comparing my everyday experiences as a black woman to those of its protagonist frequently. This is THAT book. I give it 5 enthusiastic stars, but do remember that it [...]

    I think I loved this book in another reality. I mean that. I think I really loved it. The time period and culture presented were great. The characters were interesting. The writing style was wonderful; certainly poetic. There were a dozen times or better I read a paragraph and thought, "I should write this down". Despite this, I struggled. As I forced my way through each page - yes, eventually it felt like an assignment - I kept questioning myself on WHY this was not satisfying me. I think I fig [...]

    This novel was suggested by the Feminist Press for black history month and after reading it, I wish I had come across it sooner. Marshall's novel is a beautiful rendition of the nuances of the immigrant struggle within the Barbadian community opening under the backdrop of World War II and white flight from urban centers. Marshall tells the story of a young Selina, who is born to parents from Barbados and like Betty Smith's, Francine Nolan of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Selina idolizes her father de [...]

    Wow! This is a great book. I have had it for a while and just got around to reading it. The story has a lot to recommend it. Barbardian immigrants in New York. Family relationships, specifically mother/daughter. Told from the point of view of a female of color written in 1959, pre-cursor to Alice Walker, etc. Also, the style of writing is wonderful. Lyrical, descriptive, vernacular. I enjoyed this book.

    The book was too dense. I only got a few pages in to it and realized that it wasn't for me though I can see the value, especially reading the summary that the author Paule Marshall is really writing about her coming-of-age story through the Depression and WWII living in Brooklyn and the relationship between African American and West Indians.

    What a wonderful book. I could not put it down. All the characters were so relatable and interesting, it was not just about Selina and her coming of age. It was far deeper!

    A fantastic female coming-of-age story. All the tension between mothers and daughters and girls with their girl friends is there, along with rich portrayals of Barbados American immigrant life.

    Another take A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, set during the Second World War not the first, Bedford-Stuyvesant, not Williamsburg. Haunting.

    Love it. It's Paula Marshall--nuff said. For those who don't know, she's in the same category as the can't-go-wrong-in-my-book Danticat.

    “Brown Girl, Brownstones” by Paule Marshall was first published in 1959. It is the coming of age story of Selina, the first generation American daughter of Silla and Deighton Boyce, immigrants from Barbados, Bajans. The novel takes her from the age of ten in 1939 into the fifties. Not only does the book detail her sexual and emotional coming of age with refreshing honesty, but it does so within the context of the struggles of new immigrants to find a place for themselves in racially conflict [...]

    I read this a long time ago, just entering it now. I should go back and re-read it, because it is so relevant to the times we are now living through. Beautifully written story of a young black girl struggling to grow up in the inner city.

    So I changed my rating to 5 stars after reading the book's afterword. It made me love and appreciate it that much more and gave me a much deeper understanding of its contents. I was so sad to say goodbye to Selina and her world. This is a contender for one of those classics you would read in high school, and could pull so much analysis for your essays and whatnot. Brown Girl, Brownstones is a coming of age novel surrounding Selina Boyce, a first generation child of Barbadian immigrants. The sett [...]

    I wish I could have enjoyed this novel more than I did. It's beautifully written, the main characters are well drawn, and the themes are important. The problems I have with it are its slow pace and the protagonist, Selina, whose strong personality occasionally borders on cruelty toward her friends and family. There is a reason for her cruelty, but it still doesn't endear her to me. Selina's parents are black immigrants (from Barbados) trying to forge a better life in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Se [...]

    The vivid imagery, lengthy descriptions and POV jumps make this book quite a task to follow at the beginning, but once they finally drag you in, you're immersed. Immersed in what, you ask?In the world of Selina Boyce, a first generation Bajan-American girl growing up in mid-20th century Brooklyn, and her journey to understanding herself and the world around her. It's a rich world, and Marshall definitely writes it to life with characters that are heartbreakingly believable and understandable, an [...]

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