February is Black History Month aka National African American History Month, and March transitions into Women’s History Month. What better way to celebrate both by reading a novel written by an African American woman based on her history and childhood years growing up in 70’s and 80’s Bushwick, a neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Jacqueline Woodson, the poet-novelist, read from her bestselling novel ANOTHER BROOKLYN at Philadelphia’s Community College this morning to a full house. Being a poet, hearing her say the words with her rhythm and style, gave the book new meaning. Afterwards, she answered questions with heartfelt no-nonsense encouragement to help other writers.
Her realistic fiction novel is a love story to girlhood and focuses on the story of a woman named August looking back over her childhood years in Bushwick. Despite living in a rough neighborhood, a close-knit circle of three girlfriends and her family helped her become a strong, successful woman.
ANOTHER BROOKLYN is a fast read, less than 200 pages, but like poetry, it should be savored and read slowly. The book was selected for Philadelphia’s Free Library 2018’s One Book One Philadelphia with a series of related events scheduled this year. But if you rather wait for the movie, a film version is underway. You may be disappointed – the original books are often better. Jacqueline sure seems to think so!
Karen Stensgaard is the author of the novel AQUAVIT, the first book in the Aquamarine Sea Series with a second novel underway. AQUAVIT is available as a paperback from Amazon and Ingram Spark or as an e-book from almost everyone else. Libraries have free access via Overdrive. Link to free chapters on Amazon