Bailey's Café Questions and Answers
by Gloria Naylor

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What is the back door to Bailey's Cafe?

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The back door of Bailey's Cafe opens to infinity or death—not a real, physical location in the world. Naylor says,

There is nothing in back of this cafe. Since the place sits right on the margin between the edge of the world and infinite possibility, the back door opens out to a void. It takes courage to turn the knob and heart to leave the steps.

The cafe is a space for people who need a place to rest, cope, or deal with problems in their life. The back door is a step beyond that space; it gives someone a different way to solve their problems. Whether that's working out issues in the void or choosing to accept death is likely up to the person who opens the door and steps out of the cafe. If a person goes into the void, they can recreate places and scenes from their life there.

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The meaning of the back door to Bailey's Cafe depends on the individual. As the back door represents a void, people can make of it what they...

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