The National Book Award-winning novel—and contemporary classic—that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor, now with a foreword by Tayari Jones

“[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life . . . Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off triumphantly.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Brims with inventiveness—and relevance.” —NPR's Fresh Air

In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creating a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and openhearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects—a common prison and a shared home. Naylor renders both loving and painful human experiences with simple eloquence and uncommon intuition in this touching and unforgettable read.
Gloria Naylor was born in New York City in 1950. She received her B.A. in English from Brooklyn College and her M.A. in Afro-American studies from Yale. Her books include The Women of Brewster Place, which won both the American Book Award and the National Book Award for first novel, and was also adapted into a television movie by Oprah Winfrey; Linden Hills; Bailey's Cafe; and The Men of Brewster Place. She taught writing and literature at George Washington University, New York University, Boston University, and Cornell University. She died in 2016. View titles by Gloria Naylor

Educator Guide for The Women of Brewster Place

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

  • WINNER
    National Book Award
"[Naylor's] ardent inventiveness as a storyteller and the complex individuality she gives to each of her seven main characters make the novel so much more than a contrived literary assembly line. . . . Deftly, Naylor gathers all these individual stories into one climactic narrative that works through the reader via a word-by-word sense of horror and outrage. . . . The Women of Brewster Place, born of the details of a particular time and community, also turns out to be one of those, yes, universal stories depicting how we, the fallen, seek grace.”
Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

“The most refreshing voice in the black idiom since readers first discovered Toni Morrison.”
—Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land

“Naylor creates a completely believable, and very frightening, world of degradation, violence and human—very human—courage and sturdiness.” 
Chicago Sun-Times

“Vibrating with undisguised emotion, The Women of Brewster Place springs from the same roots that produces the blues. Like them, [Naylor’s] book sings of sorrow proudly borne by black women in America.”
The Washington Post

About

The National Book Award-winning novel—and contemporary classic—that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor, now with a foreword by Tayari Jones

“[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life . . . Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off triumphantly.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Brims with inventiveness—and relevance.” —NPR's Fresh Air

In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creating a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and openhearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects—a common prison and a shared home. Naylor renders both loving and painful human experiences with simple eloquence and uncommon intuition in this touching and unforgettable read.

Author

Gloria Naylor was born in New York City in 1950. She received her B.A. in English from Brooklyn College and her M.A. in Afro-American studies from Yale. Her books include The Women of Brewster Place, which won both the American Book Award and the National Book Award for first novel, and was also adapted into a television movie by Oprah Winfrey; Linden Hills; Bailey's Cafe; and The Men of Brewster Place. She taught writing and literature at George Washington University, New York University, Boston University, and Cornell University. She died in 2016. View titles by Gloria Naylor

Guides

Educator Guide for The Women of Brewster Place

Classroom-based guides appropriate for schools and colleges provide pre-reading and classroom activities, discussion questions connected to the curriculum, further reading, and resources.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Awards

  • WINNER
    National Book Award

Praise

"[Naylor's] ardent inventiveness as a storyteller and the complex individuality she gives to each of her seven main characters make the novel so much more than a contrived literary assembly line. . . . Deftly, Naylor gathers all these individual stories into one climactic narrative that works through the reader via a word-by-word sense of horror and outrage. . . . The Women of Brewster Place, born of the details of a particular time and community, also turns out to be one of those, yes, universal stories depicting how we, the fallen, seek grace.”
Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air

“The most refreshing voice in the black idiom since readers first discovered Toni Morrison.”
—Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land

“Naylor creates a completely believable, and very frightening, world of degradation, violence and human—very human—courage and sturdiness.” 
Chicago Sun-Times

“Vibrating with undisguised emotion, The Women of Brewster Place springs from the same roots that produces the blues. Like them, [Naylor’s] book sings of sorrow proudly borne by black women in America.”
The Washington Post

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