Brown Girl, Brownstones
Now including a new foreword by the prolific Haitian author Edwidge Danticat, Brown Girl, Brownstones is the work of one of America’s finest contemporary black women writers. Set in Brooklyn during the Depression and World War II, it chronicles the efforts of Barbadian immigrants to surmount poverty and racism and to make their new country home. Selina Boyce, the novel’s memorable heroine, is conflicted by the opposing aspirations of her parents: her hardworking, ambitious mother longs to buy a brownstone row house while her easygoing father prefers to dream of effortless success and his native island’s lushness. Eventually, in this coming-of-age story, Selina must forge her own identity, sexuality, and sense of values in her new country and reconcile group tradition with individual potential.
The new foreword written by highly acclaimed author Danticat examines Selina’s passionate quest for wholeness of identity: “When dreams collide rather than merge, forcing both family members and the community to take sides until one type of dreamer is applauded and the other shunned . . . a showdown is imminent.” With themes of multi-ethnic racism, immigration, loyalty, and loss at the forefront, this powerful and poetic exploration is as relevant today as it was in its debut.
"Remarkable for its colorful characters, the cadence of its dialogue and its evocation of a still-lingering past."
"Marshall brings to her characters . . . an instinctive understanding, a generosity and free humor that combine to form a style remarkable for its courage, its color, and its natural control."
"An unforgettable novel written with pride and anger, with rebellion and tears."