As we announced last month, the latest Read With Us book selection is . . .
This book was first published in 1982, and was awarded the National Book Award for First Novel in 1983. The book is not very long - only 192 pages - but, boy! Does it pack a wallop! Now considered a "contemporary classic," the story is told in 7 interconnected stories -- technically not short stories -- but 7 related stories. As in . . . characters we meet in one story appear in another story. (Think Olive Kitteridge. Or Girl, Woman, Other.)
Why did we choose this particular book? Well . . . we know that many of you - like us - are on your own journey in understanding racism. We're trying to be/become allies. We're learning together. We're moving forward. So we thought a book from the Zora Canon might resonate for many of us right now.
Bonny and Carole and I landed on The Women of Brewster Place because it sounded like a book we'd be interested in reading as a sort of fictional "partner" to the non-fiction books we've also been reading: The Warmth of Other Suns, Caste, How To Be An Anti-Racist, I'm Still Here, etc. The women characters portrayed in Brewster Place . . . represent the very women described in those non-fiction books. It's like they come to life in novel form -- a great way to expand our understanding and make the issues more relatable.
Here's a quick summary description of the book (from Goodreads):
"In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak inner-city sanctuary, creating a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and open-hearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects—a common prison and a shared home. Naylor renders both loving and painful human experiences with simple eloquence and uncommon intuition. Her remarkable sense of community and history makes The Women of Brewster Place a contemporary classic—and a touching and unforgettable read."
You have plenty of time to grab the book and read along!
We'll be hosting our blog-based book discussions on November 10.
I do hope you'll Read With Us . . . The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor.