Another Brooklyn: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 9, 2016
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From the Publisher
Author Jacqueline Woodson
The opening lines of Another Brooklyn
For a long time, my mother wasn't dead yet. Mine could have been a more tragic story. My father could have given in to the bottle or the needle or a woman and left my brother and me to care for ourselves—or worse, in the care of New York City Children's Services, where, my father said, there was seldom a happy ending. But this didn't happen. I know now that what is tragic isn't the moment. It is the memory.
If we had had jazz, would we have survived differently? If we had known our story was a blues with a refrain running through it, would we have lifted our heads, said to each other, This is memory again and again until the living made sense? Where would we be now if we had known there was a melody to our madness? Because even though Sylvia, Angela, Gigi, and I came together like a jazz improv—half notes tentatively moving toward one another until the ensemble found its footing and the music felt like it had always been playing—we didn't have jazz to know this was who we were. We had the Top 40 music of the 1970s trying to tell our story. It never quite figured us out.
The summer I turned fifteen, my father sent me to a woman he had found through his fellow Nation of Islam brothers. An educated sister, he said, who I could talk to. By then, I was barely speaking. Where words had once flowed easily, I was suddenly silent, breath snatched from me, replaced by a melancholy my family couldn't understand.
Sister Sonja was a thin woman, her brown face all angles beneath a black hijab. So this is who the therapist became to me—the woman with the hijab, fingers tapered, dark eyes questioning. By then, maybe it was too late.
From School Library Journal
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This is the story of August, a black girl who has moved from SweetGrove,
Tennessee to the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn with her father and little brother in the early '70s. This is the story of August and her three best friends. This is the story of how those girls grow up on the streets, living on the edge of poverty and either make it--or not--in the world. This is the story of a dangerous place, but one also filled with hope and courage. This is a story of grief. This is a story of love.
A favorite quote: "Everywhere we looked, we saw the people trying to dream themselves out. As though there was someplace other than this place. As though there was another Brooklyn."
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
My Thoughts: In the narrative voice of a young woman named August, we follow her journey back to Sweet Grove, Tennessee, and forward to Brooklyn in the 1970s.
Memories and moments that seem to come in flashbacks are snippets out of time, revealing nostalgia and loss. A death, a missing mother, friendships that seem forever but then are not…all of it is seen from the character’s adult perspective.
Sometimes flashes come that signal fantasy, not reality. And then reality slams into her with all of its dangerous brutality.
Dead bodies are discovered nearby; drug addicts hide in the hallways; and children disappear when white women come for them.
Another Brooklyn: A Novel is a panoramic view of a time, of dreams, and of how reality can turn grim…or hopeful. It snaps a portrait of growing up Girl in times that were a-changing. 4 stars.
Top international reviews
I'm white and British so can't comment on accuracy but it was relatable and real.
"For a long time, my mother wasn't dead yet. Mine could have been a more tragic story. My father could have given in to the bottle or the needle or a woman and left my brother and me to care for ourselves—or worse, in the care of New York City Children's Services, where, my father said, there was seldom a happy ending. But this didn't happen. I know now that what is tragic isn't the moment. It is the memory."
Bam. With an opening paragraph like that, I was expecting a real tour de force.
In the end, the novel did not live up to the promise embodied by this very strong beginning, although it definitely has its merits. It’s a fever dream, like viewing a woman's childhood through a diaphanous curtain, everything hazy and yet the silhouettes very visible. Woodson taps into August's emotional truth and the ungraspable, fleeting nature of memories, the desire to understand the contours of one's past and the impossibility of ever really knowing the whys and wherefores of it.
When a child is unmoored, there is often a desperate attachment to childhood friendships, a desire to create a new family. Another Brooklyn captures this very well. There was truth in the way the characters eventually change and grow apart in late adolescence, each going her own way, leaving the others to fend for themselves in the adult world.
Die angegebenen 192 Seiten sind recht großzügig berechnet, denn es wird viel Platz frei gelassen.