Imatge de l'autor

Paule Marshall (1929–2019)

Autor/a de Brown Girl, Brownstones

15+ obres 1,715 Membres 19 Ressenyes 3 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Paule Marshall was born on April 9, 1929 in Brooklyn, New York. She received a B.A. in English literature from Brooklyn College in 1953. She worked briefly as a librarian before joining Our World magazine. Her first novel, Brown Girl, Brownstones, was published in 1959. Her other novels include The mostra'n més Chosen Place, the Timeless People; Daughters; and The Fisher King. She is also the author of two collections of short fiction: Soul Clap Hands and Sing, which received the National Institute of Arts Award, and Reena and Other Stories. She has received several awards including the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature and the Columbus Foundation American Book Award for Praisesong for the Widow in 1983. Paule Marshall passed away on August 12, 2019 at the age of 90. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys

Inclou aquests noms: Paule Marshal, Paule Marshall

Crèdit de la imatge: Courtesy of Serpent's Tail Press

Obres de Paule Marshall

Obres associades

Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction (1990) — Col·laborador — 278 exemplars
The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970) — Col·laborador — 239 exemplars
We Are the Stories We Tell (1990) — Col·laborador — 196 exemplars
Calling the Wind: Twentieth Century African-American Short Stories (1992) — Col·laborador — 102 exemplars
Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation (1984) — Col·laborador — 79 exemplars
Honey, Hush! An Anthology of African American Women's Humor (1997) — Col·laborador — 78 exemplars
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition (2003) — Col·laborador — 69 exemplars
Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers (1990) — Col·laborador — 65 exemplars
On Girlhood: 15 Stories from the Well-Read Black Girl Library (2021) — Col·laborador — 63 exemplars
American Negro Short Stories (1966) — Col·laborador — 61 exemplars
Black-Eyed Susans; Classic Stories By and About Black Women (1975) — Col·laborador — 60 exemplars
Sisterfire: Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry (1994) — Col·laborador — 46 exemplars
Mending the World: Stories of Family by Contemporary Black Writers (2003) — Col·laborador — 33 exemplars
Harlem U.S.A. (1964) — Col·laborador — 30 exemplars
Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women (1983) — Col·laborador — 22 exemplars
Harlem: Voices from the Soul of Black America (1970) — Col·laborador — 10 exemplars


Coneixement comú




The story was OK. I did not like the ending -- it was too abrupt and totally unsatisfying. I thought it was poorly written. Sentences. That aren't sentences. Filled the book. Sometimes writers use incomplete sentences -- phrases -- to give emphasis or to mark some kind of rhythm. But if you do that over and over again for no good reason, you end up looking like you've never learned grammar. I am talking here of the writer's voice, not those of the characters who are more real when they talk in their true conversational style. Reading. Sentences that aren't sentences. Can make the reader weary. And earns one star.… (més)
dvoratreis | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | May 22, 2024 |
This book was very disappointing. The plot was intriguing, but the writing wasn't up to par. The characters were interesting and held lots of promise, but ultimately, the book never came through. The best parts were about the main character's earlier life.
lschiff | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Sep 24, 2023 |
A lot of intellectualism is fear of the people beneath you—at its worst, you know. (This can of course, also come about largely through habit energy and imitation, and of course the mind is occasionally quite productive.) There’s also certainly a lot that you can say about intellectualism. A certain sort of novel, the observational comedy, the un-drama, can be a bit like a painting, if you’re honest, (This pigment of red was developed in 1662! —rolls eyes), there aren’t many words to say. Yes…. pretty!

I mean, she’s a young Black girl in the white man’s world, making her way through America, and her mom and dad argue about money and she and her girl-friend learn about sex; money and relationships and everyday life. There’s not always something “interesting” to say about it. I can certainly say that I believe that this is what life was like for them.

And about the people, I can say that although they were poor “ignorant” people not guaranteed to make good choices, they also understood on the edges of their awareness that the people who designed school curriculums hadn’t had their success—or even their existence—forefront in their minds.

And it’s sad, you know, because the answers are in the books. But sometimes, you go to the schools, and they hide the answers away, and distract you with ornamental learning, and people react by throwing spitballs and learning nothing.

…. I don’t know whether “this is the way things should be” or whether “this is not the way things should be”, but it certainly wasn’t only Burke and the British who didn’t want sex or reason, but something in between—custom. The old ways. Of course, traditional Black people were also targeted by racism and sometimes racists, but the term (traditional Black people) certainly isn’t a contradiction the way we sometimes imagine.

…. I notice—as painful as this transformation is—that books can be experience as a reflection of life rather than as a substitute, and that can make you enjoy a the-girl-and-the-house book (like the first book-by-a-girl I ever read, basically: a now out of print, I think, Victoria Holt called “The Shadow of the Lynx”: it’s about Australia, I reassured myself again and again—it’s about /Australia/—a place, dammit, a place!), like “Brown Girl, Brownstones”.

…. There’s really only one of us, or at most two or three….

…. Also: there ain’t no reason why a Black girl can’t talk about money. Black people are actually sometimes less shy about money, (at least in so far as they are different, as sometimes they aren’t), in that they were never part of Lord Pansypant’s family, you know, and we all know that Paul, Earl of Pansypants was into the simple life, the philosophical life, and THAT was why he didn’t like to talk about money…. Either that, or, he was just so ashamed of having a body, that he didn’t like to be reminded of pounds and pence, you know. 😸💵

…. In my experience, people say they don’t like dreamers and philosophy; they say they like money: however, they tend to dismiss the dream of money just as quickly as the dream of anything else, and that’s how great wealth begins, as an “impractical idea”. In this story, though, it’s not the British male professor of invention putting around building a money-spewing machine (or so he says), and a defeated unreconstructed shrew wife moaning about the children starving by the fire; it’s the practical Black woman who wants a nice house and the laid-back Black man who wants to live loose and free, and just enjoy things, you know. It’s a different story.

…. And sometimes we learn to die for God because we’re afraid to live.

…. I was in Barnes & Noble today (which was kinda a waste of a trip, CDs are dead, dead as a door nail, even in Freehold, you know…. (chuckles) Although Amazon has the CDs, but my car…. Ah, the journey of buying cars, nice cars, eventually—it’s only just begun! ANYWAY:) and I passed one of those displays “Greatest Novels of the 20th Century”—there are always more of those, you know—and this wasn’t there, although they had a Toni Morrison, and this is broadly similar, right; same bat cave, same band…. But it’s interesting, I mean I’m down to a hundred pages and change, so I’ll finish it, but I don’t know—I mean, it’s certainly very artsy, you know, which is what it wanted to be, of course. But I find it funny how the desire for this has abated somewhat, you know. About the same size as a car’s owner’s manual, right, but so different…. And it’s ironic, because with a book like this, you tend to either like it because it’s Back Then, it’s School, you know—you know, or notice that the people were perhaps sometimes but certainly not always involved in some sort of (popular) ‘higher life’ you know; other times, they just wanted a damn Good! life, now, and that pisses off some of the literati and politici, you know…. It’s funny. Literature is a vast archipelago, but each island is so small, you know: you travel so far to get there, but then you try to land the plane, maybe you end up in the water. I don’t know how to say it, you know. It’s just…. Like, beautiful words, about common things, are sometimes not quite beautiful, nor useful, just…. Kinda in the neighborhood, you know. In the neighborhood, right.

…. In a way it’s not a bad book, but I think a lot of one’s experience of a book is how it’s received, and there are kinda dogs (often ones who think they’re being friendly) snipping at its heels, even if they’re not Paule’s dogs, right. It is written prettily, and concerns itself with beauty, and doesn’t look away from money. But most of the people who say they like it probably think that beauty and money are different, even opposites, and maybe don’t even see beauty as beauty, but as something else. And certainly aloofness isn’t an especially Black conception of beauty, and arguably not even a feminine one.

…. What do we see when we look at them, and do we ever imagine that they might be like us?

…. The parents make themselves miserable striving, hustling, and the children reject them, piddling away time: an American story.

…. It’s not good or bad unless there are specifics, but it is strange how 1959 could be within living memory of the age of TikTok, you know.

Although a lot of the muck is still on the bottom, of course. People look at her and they see not an individual or even a personality, but just a sort of caricaturization-abstraction: the strange dark girl, you know.

People don’t notice her living.

…. Another odd thing is that Black girls as a group are probs less married to the academy than white girls, but if you look at my percentages of gen lit vs gen fict for Black and white girls, the Black girls I included probs have a higher percentage of gen lit over the pop stuff, you know. And that’s common. Yes, even before logging this book into gen lit for Black girls, the gen lit/gen fict books for Black girls are 71% gen lit: and white girls 58%. Because it’s hard for whitey to read those ghetto romances, you know; whitey feels like they’re not belonging there, in that headspace. White girls have a better chance of being liked either way. Black girls have to do the harder thing at a disadvantage to get half a shot, you know. This was certainly easier for me to read, anyway, than some of the other stuff. I don’t intend to be angry and know all the answers anymore, but it is true that the academy is the big house and the country is the plantation, and we make them act a certain way before we respect them, you know. It’s a tragedy.

…. And I guess they were wanting to sing the original Black version (so to speak) of that sarcastic song, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”. Oh, it’s wonderful to have beautiful things, but people have them because they think they’re supposed to want them, even though they don’t. They accept beauty as a duty, you know: so that they won’t enjoy…. Doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense…. It’s the Episcopal way, though, I guess.

…. And I shouldn’t sound so surprised, but what a wonder: they’re so American; they’re just like anybody else—they’re men and women, and old and young…. And that’s how it was even back in 1959, so long ago, almost.
… (més)
goosecap | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Sep 11, 2023 |
This is an engrossing story of a Brown girl and her family, and their life in Brooklyn NY, around the time of the start of WWII. Selina's mom and dad are from Barbados, having come to NY to better their lives. However, the father only dreams of returning, and will contribute nothing to the mom's dream of buying the brownstone they lease, and turning it into a rooming house. For Selina, whose Dad is her shining star, this creates destructive Dynamics in her world.
Selina, as she grows up, becomes painfully aware of the power of white people over her and those who share her skin color.
Author Marshall has a power of imagery that lets the reader see Selina's world: the scenery, houses, neighborhoods, people, their clothes, their mannerisms, their attitudes. These are easily visualized for the reader and you will be the more engrossed in her work for this art.

Selina, at the age of 18, talking with her boyfriend of the scorn she feels for young members of the Barbados business association, which her mother wants her to join:
" 'I don't care, I won't be like them!' she replied savagely, and angrily struck the water with her foot so that the spray burst in a white design before them and then dropped. 'I won't be cut out of the same piece of cloth.' 'And most people want just that,' he offered, his eyes shrouded and aloof again, his voice bland. 'Because who wants to be out here alone? Who can take it? Most people want to be one with the lowering herd, to be told, to be led. They gladly hand over themselves to do something... ' " p.228

Selina, the star of her dance club, performed a solo at a dance recital. Afterwards, a huera who sang in the choir accompanying the recital, invited the members of the club to her house. The mother, jealous of Selina's spotlight, calls her away from the rest of the dancers for a talk:
"But when she looked up and saw her reflection in those pair of eyes, she knew that the woman saw one thing above all Else. Those eyes were a Well - lighted mirror in which, for the first time, Selena truly saw -- with a sharp and shattering clarity--the full meaning of her black skin.
"And knowing was like dying -- like being poised on the rim of time when the heart's simple rhythm is syncopated and then silenced and the blood chills and congeals, when a pall passes in the dark wind over the eyes. In that instant of death, false and fleeting though it was, she was beyond hurt. And then, as swiftly, terror flared behind her eyes, terror that somehow, in some way, this woman, the frightened girl at the door, those others dancing down the hall, even Rachel, all, everywhere, sought to rob her of her substance and herself. The thrust of hate at that moment was strong enough to sweep the world and consume them. What had brought her to this place? To the shattering knowledge? And obscurely she knew: the part of her which had long hated her for her blackness and thus begrudged her every small success like the one tonight..." P. 250

Running away from the party, Selina collapses sobbing in the doorway of a closed shop, and seeing her reflection in the window next to her, tries unsuccessfully to smash it:…
"She peered shyly at her reflection--the way a child looks at himself in the mirror. And, in a sense, it was a discovery for her also. She was seeing, clearly for the first time, the image which the woman--and the ones like the woman--saw when they looked at her. What Clive had said must be true. Her dark face must be confused in their minds with what they feared most: with the night, symbol of their ancient fears, which seethed with sin and Harbored violence, which spawned the beast in its fen; with the heart of darkness within them and all its horror and fascination. The woman, confronted by her brash face, had sensed the arid place within herself and had sought absolution in cruelty. Like the night, she was to be feared, spurned, purified -- and always reminded of her darkness..." p.251
"She cried because, like all her kinsmen, she must somehow prevent it from destroying her inside and find a way for her real face to emerge."p.252
… (més)
burritapal | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Oct 23, 2022 |



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