Reena and Other Stories
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PAULE MARSHALL is the author of the novels Brown Girl; Brownstones; The Chosen Place; The Timeless People; Praisesong for the Widow; and Daughters. She has also written several collections of short stories, including Reena and Other Stories, and more recently a memoir entitled Triangular Road.

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Reena and Other Stories

Including the Novella "Merle"
Paule Marshall

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."

—Henry Louis Gates, Jr., professor of English and chairperson of Afro-American Studies, Harvard University, and author of Colored People

"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."

—Mary Helen Washington, professor of English, University of Maryland, College Park, and editor of Black-Eyed Susans

"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."

Publishers Weekly