Brown Girl, Brownstones

by Paule Marshall

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Critical Context (Masterplots II: African American Literature)

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 120

When Brown Girl, Brownstones was first published in 1959, it received excellent reviews in most of the journals and newspapers that noticed it. The novel, however, like Marshall’s second work, The Chosen Place, the Timeless People (1969), received little attention in scholastic and academic circles until the 1980’s, when it was viewed as one of the first African American novels to explore a black woman’s coming-of-age. With the publication of her third novel, Praisesong for the Widow (1983), Marshall established herself as a respected voice for human rights and personal dignity for all races. Brown Girl, Brownstones remains her most popular novel, valued for its sophisticated characterization, colorful use of an urban setting, and attention to West Indies dialect and culture.

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Critical Context (Masterplots II: American Fiction Series)