Betty Smith

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The Times Literary Supplement

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Brooklyn in the early years of the century, swarming with immigrants of all nationalities, mostly warm-hearted, is a terrain not unknown to readers of contemporary fiction; and it is the setting of Miss Smith's new, long, curiously absorbing and shamelessly sentimental novel [Maggie-Now]….

Miss Smith narrates with that talent for the creation of interesting background detail, idealized sorrows and the polished surfaces of life, which is often characteristic of this kind of extremely skilful, cheerfully unscrupulous, semi-historical fiction. Everybody with the most rudimentary talent for letting go should enjoy it; those with a weakness for the horse trams, Irish cops, Heinie butchers, gaslit saloons and narrow streets of old New York particularly.

"Fresh Shoots in Brooklyn," in The Times Literary Supplement (© Times Newspapers Ltd. (London) 1958; reproduced from The Times Literary Supplement by permission), No. 2940, July 4, 1958, p. 378.∗