Reena and Other Stories
Introduction by Paule Marshall
This collection of short works illustrates the growth of a remarkable writer. Opening the volume is the much-acclaimed autobiographical essay, “From the Poets in the Kitchen,” which pays homage to the hard-working, storytelling West Indian women who serve as her muses—women who fought back against oppression and invisibility using the only weapon at their command: the spoken word. Such women appear in her luminous short stories, which travel from Brooklyn to Barbados and back again.
"The stories collected here are stories of transcendence and continuity. Paule Marshall's characters battle the twin oppressions of sexism and racism, and it is the self that emerges as the ultimate source of strength. Marshall attests to the maxim and the will to power over circumstance is, for the black woman, the will to write."
"Black women are shown in Marshall's stories creating the power to define their lives. Reading these stories is both a political act and a great joy."
"Readers familiar with Marshall's novels, Brown Girl, Brownstones; The Chosen Place, The Timeless People; and Praisesong for the Widow, will welcome this collection of her early short fiction. Those who have yet to make Marshall's acquaintance have an enormous treat in store."