Listen up, readers, there is a lot going on this weekend with the Mid-South Book Festival. It kicks off Wednesday with the Literacy Summit, but Thursday night is the first literary event with a reading and signing by acclaimed author Jacqueline Woodson at story booth.
Woodson, known and celebrated as a young adult writer, has just released her first work for an adult audience, Another Brooklyn (Amistad).
Another Brooklyn is a short but complex story that arises from simmering grief. It lulls across the pages like a mournful whisper. “For a long time, my mother wasn’t dead yet,” the narrator begins, which perfectly conveys the novel’s suspended sorrow. Now an anthropologist who studies the way different cultures honor their dead, August is an adult looking back at her adolescence in the 1970s. She came to Brooklyn with her younger brother two decades earlier when their father hoped they could all start a new life away from the tragedies that shattered their family back in Tennessee.
But August and her brother aren’t so much renewed as arrested in this alien, dangerous place. Unable to acknowledge her mother’s death, young August pines for her return while staring out the window, month after month. “If someone had asked, Are you lonely? I would have said, No,” August says. “I would have pointed to my brother and said, He’s here. I would have lied even as the empty street on rainy afternoons threatened to swallow me whole.”
The signing is presented by The Booksellers at Laurelwood and Nicole Yasinsky, marketing manager for Booksellers, was recently quoted about the novel for a story in Bookselling This Week from the American Booksellers Association, which chose it as last August’s “Next List” pick.
“Effortlessly weaving poetic prose, Woodson tells the story of the relationships young women form, their yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created — and broken,” said Yasinsky. “Brooklyn itself is a vivid character in this tale — a place at first harsh, but one that becomes home and plays a role in each character’s future.”
Author Ann Patchet has said, “Another Brooklyn is a sort of fever dream, containing both the hard truths of life and the gentle beauty of memory. The story of a young girl trying to find herself in the midst of so many conflicting and desires swallowed me whole. Jacqueline Woodson has such an original vision, such a singular voice. I loved this book.”
Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children, including the New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which won the 2014 National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, an NAACP Image Award, and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.
story booth at Crosstown Arts
438 N. Cleveland
Thursday, September 8th