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Another Brooklyn

Cover of Another Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn

A Novel
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The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.

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. Like Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling and National Book Award–winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers her first adult novel in twenty years.

Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.

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. Like Louise Meriwether's Daddy Was a Number Runner and Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation, and she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner, among many prizes and honors. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 11, 2016
    In her first adult novel in 20 years, acclaimed children’s and YA author Woodson (winner of the National Book Award for her last book, Brown Girl Dreaming) combines grit and beauty in a series of stunning vignettes, painting a vivid mural of what it was like to grow up African-American in Brooklyn during the 1970s. When August, an anthropologist who has studied the funeral traditions of different cultures, revisits her old neighborhood after her father’s death, her reunion with a brother and a chance encounter with an old friend bring back a flood of childhood memories. Flashbacks depict the isolation she felt moving from rural Tennessee to New York and show how her later years were influenced by the black power movement, nearby street violence, her father’s religious conversion, and her mother’s haunting absence. August’s memories of her Brooklyn companions—a tightly knit group of neighborhood girls—are memorable and profound. There’s dancer Angela, who keeps her home life a carefully guarded secret; beautiful Gigi, who loses her innocence too young; and Sylvia, “diamonded over, brilliant,” whose strict father wants her to study law. With dreams as varied as their conflicts, the young women confront dangers lurking on the streets, discover first love, and pave paths that will eventually lead them in different directions. Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman’s life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.

  • Sarah Begley, Time "Woodson's unsparing story of a girl becoming a woman recalls some of the genre's all-time greats: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Bluest Eye and especially, with its darkly poetic language, The House on Mango Street."
  • People Magazine "An engrossing novel about friendship, race, the magic of place and the relentlessness of change."
  • Washington Post "Woodson manages to remember what cannot be documented, to suggest what cannot be said. Another Brooklyn is another name for poetry."
  • Elle "Woodson does for young black girls what short story master Alice Munroe does for poor rural ones: She imbues their everyday lives with significance."
  • Vanity Fair "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."
  • Los Angeles Times Book Review "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.
  • New York 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..."
  • Boston Globe "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."
  • Huffington Post "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."
  • Jarry Lee, Buzzfeed "Gorgeously written and moving, Another Brooklyn is an examination of the complexities of youth and adolescence, loss, friendship, family, race, and religion."
  • Elle Books Feature "[E]ntwined coming-of-age narratives-lost mothers, wounded war vets, nodding junkies, menacing streetscapes-are starkly realistic, yet brim with moments of pure poetry."
  • Booklist (Starred Review) "The novel's richness defies its slim page count. In her poet's prose, Woodson not only shows us backward-glancing August attempting to stave off growing up and the pains that betray youth, she also wonders how we dream of a life parallel to the one we're living."
  • Seattle Times "emotionally resonant work"
  • Vox Magazine "Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn is a gauzy, lyrical fever dream of a book."
  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards "There are nothrowaway sentences in Another Brooklyn — each short, poetic line feels carefully loved and polished. The first half of this novel asks urgent questions; the second delivers uneasy, heartbreaking answers. At its core, this book is about fragility, how light shines in the broken places."
  • Emma Straub, New York Times Bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers "Jacqueline Woodson is a gorgeous writer...lyrical prose, really, really beautiful."
  • Sister Sonia Sanchez ''...And Sister Jacqueline Woodson comes singing memory. Her words like summer lightning get caught in my throat and I draw her up from southern roots to a Brooklyn of a thousand names, where she and her three 'sisters' learn to navigate a new season. A new herstory. Everywhere I turn, my dear Sister Jacqueline, I hear your words, a wild sea pausing in the wind. And I sing..."
  • Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light ''...And Sister Jacqueline Woodson comes singing memory. Her words like summer lightning get caught in my throat and I draw her up from southern roots to a Brooklyn of a thousand names, where she and her three 'sisters' learn to navigate a new season. A new herstory. Everywhere I turn, my dear Sister Jacqueline, I hear your words, a wild sea pausing in the wind. And I sing..."
  • Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, a finalist for the National Book Award "In this elegant and moving novel, Jacqueline Woodson explores the beauty and burden of growing up girl in 1970's...
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A Novel
Jacqueline Woodson
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