Gloria Naylor's novel The Women of Brewster Place (1982) was awarded the American Book Award for best first novel in 1983. The book has been praised by critics for its characterization of social issues of its time, especially that of African American women struggling in an inner-city neighborhood. Sally Hoyman, writing for Women & Therapy, refers to Naylor's debut novel as a "heartwrenching story" as well as an "amazing literary beauty."
Naylor's novel opens with a chapter about the history of the street where much of the story will take place, Brewster Place. This area of an unnamed metropolis was first planned by a corrupt politician and a realtor to whom the politician owed a favor. A large...
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