First novel by Paule Marshall, originally published in 1959. Somewhat autobiographical, this groundbreaking work describes the coming of age of Selina Boyce, a Caribbean-American girl in New York City in the mid-20th century. Although the book did not gain widespread recognition until it was reprinted in 1981, it was initially noted for its expressive dialogue. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
From the Back Cover
--This text refers to an alternate
"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 Yorker
Selina'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.
Dover (2009) unabridged republication of the edition published by Random House, Inc., New York, 1959.