- File Size: 804 KB
- Print Length: 176 pages
- Publisher: Civitas Books (March 3, 2009)
- Publication Date: March 3, 2009
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001QA4TJ6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,183 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$19.99|
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Triangular Road: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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For those so inclined you may even find yourelf revisiting historical events of the civil rights movement or the Harlem Renaissance. You'll appreciate the expereinces of the African Diaspora. I was so impressed I revisited some of Paule Marshall's earlier works, and remembered how much I've enjoyed this authors works. I definitely recommend Triangular Road.
Daughter of Barbadian immigrants, she grew up in an insular community of immigrants from Barbados in Brooklyn, New York. Marshall, at age thirteen changed her middle name, Pauline, which was the name that she was known as, to Paule, pronounced as Paul for Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Her world was even separated from other West Indians; they all had a pecking order of status and class. While her mother embraced all things Bajan and took Marshall and her sister back to visit her mother in her homeland, her father wanted nothing to do with Barbados. An illegal alien, he would not even speak of his family or where he lived; he was just glad to be gone from what he called that" two by four" island. Working a series of factory jobs which he felt were beneath him and his cheap suits, he soon took up with the Father Divine movement and abandoned the family when Marshall was eleven years-old. Devastated, she threw herself into her studies, graduated from high school and at age seventeen entered Hunter College, despite her mother's insistence that she go to work for the telephone company because they were now hiring colored. Marshall's writing was rewarded with generous grants and fellowships, such as the Guggenheim Award and MacArthur grant, which allowed her to travel and write. She lived in Barbados for several months and Grenada for a year and traveled to Europe and Africa.
The most compelling part of this slim volume was of recalling her visitation to her maternal family in Barbados and her precious time there as a child and adult. I could see the green hills and feel the coolness of the sea baths; her details were so vivid. Marshall deftly articulated the significance of the triangular integration of Brooklyn, Barbados and the African continent into her life. Equally satisfying was her frankness about her writer's block and her process for overcoming the obstacles that got in her way of her writing. Although I wanted more in-depth intimate details about her life such as the contentious relationship with her mother, I was still able to discern what made her such an indomitable force. I am as enthralled with Madame Marshall as I was when I was introduced to her in the 1970s and I bow down to a true artist and class act, phenomenal woman. How fitting to have read this book during Women's History Month. I recommend to Paule Marshall fans and writers.
Dera R. Williams
It is also interesting to read about Paule Marshall's writing habits. She writes about the importance of grants to an author who needs to travel far away to do research. She doesn't make writing seem as easy as skipping down the Yellow Brick Road. I feel she should have written more kindly about the task of writing. After all, new writers are quickly frightened away from the white page. However, her words give me an even greater appreciation for authors who put pen to paper and publish their words for unknown readers.
"Days--long, solitary days, weeks and then months spent learning the painful but necessary lesson of every novice: that writing is rewritng, is honing, pruning, refining, is becoming, essentially, one's own unsparing editor...At times when the work became too punishing or I simply needed a break from the loneliness and the routine, I would flee...to a swim."
I also enjoyed reading about Paule Marshall's family. She writes about Barbados, Africa and the island of Grenada with history as recent as Ronald Reagan's invasion of the island. The photos added a special touch to the memoir. I adored the little girl, Paule, on the cover of the book. Truly, her life is fascinating. There are some dry places in the book. Overall, the memoir is really wonderful. The book is full of beautiful descriptions.
"Almost fifty years have passed, yet I still vividly remember driving along a valley road in upcountry Grenada where the tall stands of bamboo on either side of our car met overhead to form an endless green-and-gold triumphal arch."english.emory.edu/Bahri/Marshall