The National Book Award-winning novel—and contemporary classic—that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor, now with a foreword by Tayari Jones
“[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life . . . Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off triumphantly.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Brims with inventiveness—and relevance.” —NPR's Fresh Air
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 openhearted, 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 in this touching and unforgettable read.
About the Author
Gloria Naylor (1950-2016) grew up in New York City. She received her BA in English from Brooklyn College and her MA in Afro-American Studies from Yale University. Her first novel, The Women of Brewster Place, won the National Book Award for first fiction in 1983. She is also the author of Linden Hills (available from Penguin), Mama Day, Bailey's Cafe, and The Men of Brewster Place.
Tayari Jones (foreword) is the New York Times bestselling author of An American Marriage, which was an Oprah's Book Club Selection and a favorite of Barack Obama, as well as Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. She is a professor-at-large at Cornell University and a professor of creative writing at Emory University.
"[Naylor's] ardent inventiveness as a storyteller and the complex individuality she gives to each of her seven main characters make the novel so much more than a contrived literary assembly line. . . . Deftly, Naylor gathers all these individual stories into one climactic narrative that works through the reader via a word-by-word sense of horror and outrage. . . . The Women of Brewster Place, born of the details of a particular time and community, also turns out to be one of those, yes, universal stories depicting how we, the fallen, seek grace.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
“The most refreshing voice in the black idiom since readers first discovered Toni Morrison.” —Claude Brown, author ofManchild in the Promised Land
“Naylor creates a completely believable, and very frightening, world of degradation, violence and human—very human—courage and sturdiness.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Vibrating with undisguised emotion, The Women of Brewster Place springs from the same roots that produces the blues. Like them, [Naylor’s] book sings of sorrow proudly borne by black women in America.” —The Washington Post