Sunday, March 1, 2015

Amazon Book Reviews: Caribbean Authors — Paule Marshall

Paule Marshall (born April 9, 1929) is an American author. She was born Valenza Pauline Burke in Brooklyn to Barbadian parents and educated at Girls High School, Brooklyn College (1953) and Hunter College (1955). Early in her career, she wrote poetry, but later returned to prose. She was chosen by Langston Hughes to accompany him on a world tour in which they both read their work, which was a boon to her career. Marshall has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of California, Berkeley, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Yale University before holding the Helen Gould Sheppard Chair of Literature and Culture at New York University. In 1993 she received an honorary L.H.D. from Bates College. She lives in Richmond, Va. She is a MacArthur Fellow and is a past winner of the Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She was designated as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library in 1994. Marshall was inducted into the Celebrity Path at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 2001. Her memoir, Triangular Road, was published in 2009. Read more:

This is a review for Brown Girl, Brownstones by Paule Marshall - This is a worthy and ambitious debut novel about the Barbadian immigrant experience in Brooklyn, New York, by a little known African-American author, whose own parents emigrated from Barbados during World War I. The author herself grew up in Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1953, a time when most Americans, much less a black woman, did not attend college. This drive to succeed is a testament to her Barbadian heritage. It is from that heritage that the author drew in creating her characters and developing their rich mix of personalities, as she re-created the early Barbadian immigrant experience in post-depression era Brooklyn. The book focuses on the Boyces, a nuclear family consisting of Silla, the ambitious, hard working, ever striving mother, Deighton, her charming, pie-in-the-sky dreamer of a husband, and their two daughters, Ina, the older and more passive one, and Selina, the bright, rebellious one. The novel follows the fortunes of the Boyce family from the late 1930s until shortly after Word War II. It tells of their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. Read more:

 This is a review for The Chosen Place, The Timeless People by Paule Marshall - Merle Kinbona is one of the most memorable and interesting protagonists in all of West Indian literature. She is one of the strongest characters in all of the literature that emerged from the 1960s, and she reflects what was going on politically not only in the Caribbean, but also in the United States during that time. American social anthropologists have been sent to a West Indian island, Merle's homeland, with plans to help the residents. With this as a backdrop, Marshall explores race, politics, and cultural differences. She addresses the issues of immigrants, outsiders, and all those living outside of their cultures. Particularly effective are her portrayals of white male characters, proving that cross-race, cross-gender writing can work. The book may be too long, but the text is accessible, and the novel features a very real sense of place. Subtle and well-handled issues of homosexuality show that Marshall was, indeed, a woman ahead of her time. Read more:

This is a review forTriangular Road: A Memoir by Paule Marshall - I have favorite parts of Paule Marshall's memoir TRIANGULAR ROAD. Her memoir begins with an invitation from Langston Hughes to travel overseas to Paris and Germany. In the few pages I had a chance to learn so much about Langston Hughes' likes and dislikes. One of the fun facts is that he loved to eat and drink. More than once on the train ride his meal had been interrupted. So this particular time he decided to gather the unfinished part of his meal and take it with him. He carried the bottle of wine amongst his books while Ms. Marshall carried their two steaks in two doggie bags. This is one of the fun facts about the great poet. There are also serious facts in the memoir about Langston Hughes. Read more:

Paule Marshall - Triangular Road - Part 1

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