Another Brooklyn: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 30, 2017
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“An engrossing novel about friendship, race, the magic of place and the relentlessness of change.” (People Magazine)
“Woodson manages to remember what cannot be documented, to suggest what cannot be said. Another Brooklyn is another name for poetry.” (Washington Post)
“Woodson does for young black girls what short story master Alice Munroe does for poor rural ones: She imbues their everyday lives with significance.” (Elle)
“In Jacqueline Woodson’s soaring choral poem of a novel…four young friends…navigate the perils of adolescence, mean streets, and haunted memory in 1970s Brooklyn, all while dreaming of escape.” (Vanity Fair)
“Another Brooklyn joins the tradition of studying female friendships and the families we create when our own isn’t enough, like that of Toni Morrison’s Sula, Tayari Jones’ Silver Sparrow and Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde. Woodson uses her expertise at portraying the lives of children to explore the power of memory, death and friendship. (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
“…it is the personal encounters that form the gorgeous center of this intense, moving novel...Structured as short vignettes, each reading more like prose poetry than traditional narrative, the novel unfolds as memory does, in burning flashes, thick with detail...” (New York Times Book Review)
“With Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson has delivered a love letter to loss, girlhood, and home. It is a lyrical, haunting exploration of family, memory, and other ties that bind us to one another and the world.” (Boston Globe)
“Woodson writes lyrically about what it means to be a girl in America, and what it means to be black in America. Each sentence is taut with potential energy, but the story never bursts into tragic flames; it stays strong and subtle throughout.” (Huffington Post)
“Gorgeously written and moving, Another Brooklyn is an examination of the complexities of youth and adolescence, loss, friendship, family, race, and religion.” (Jarry Lee, Buzzfeed)
From the Back Cover
For August, running into a long-ago friend sets in motion resonant memories, and transports her to a time and place she thought she had mislaid: 1970s Brooklyn, where friendship was everything.
August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi shared confidences as they ambled their neighborhood streets, a place where the girls believed that they were amazingly beautiful, brilliantly talented, with a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful promise there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where mothers disappeared, where fathers found religion, and where madness was a mere sunset away.
Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative period when a child meets adulthood—when precious innocence meets the all-too-real perils of growing up. In prose exquisite and lyrical, sensuous and tender, Woodson breathes life into memories, portraying an indelible friendship that united young lives.
Another Brooklyn is an enthralling work of literature from one of our most gifted novelists.
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062359991
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062359995
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 5 x 7.9 inches
- Publisher : Amistad; Reprint edition (May 30, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #40,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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 reviews from other countries
I read this book in the space of a few hours and as soon as I finished I turned back to the first page again. I didn’t read it all again - just that first page and it worked. It’s a cyclical book. It doesn’t need to be read in any particular order. Memories manifest in any way they want to.
This book is a series of memories told from the point of view of August; a teenager growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s. She states early on in the book that life would have been different if she’d known about jazz, but all she knew of was the top 40 (white artists mostly). And “it never quite figured us out.” I found that one statement to be huge! It’s a 170 page novel, but that statement to me felt bigger than the messages I’ve taken from 1000 page novels. If we can’t see ourselves represented, how can we see ourselves at all? My own white privilege means that this is something I rarely have to think about, but this book helped me to understand how that might feel and it is a scary feeling.
Among issues such as institutionalised racism and that difficult period between childhood and teenagehood, this book also deals with loss of a parent. The first line of the novel completely floored me: “For a long time, my mother wasn’t dead yet.” Tell me you aren’t desperate to read this book based on that line alone!?
This book is lyrical and far-reaching in exactly the same way as Red at the Bone is, so if you liked that one then you really must read this one.
I'm white and British so can't comment on accuracy but it was relatable and real.