Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything - until it wasn't. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighbourhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant - a part of a future that belonged to them.
But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.
‘Jacqueline Woodson has such an original vision, such a singular voice. I loved this book.
‘It is the personal encounters that form the gorgeous center of this intense, moving novel.'
‘Woodson manages to remember what cannot be documented, to suggest what cannot be said. Another Brooklyn is another name for poetry.'
‘The novel reads like a series of prose poems.'
‘This book about what it's like to be a girl in America should be required reading.'
'This gorgeous novel is a poem. It is a love letter to black girlhood.'
'Grief and friendship are the hallmarks of this story that leap from the pages in a musical prose that is sparse, exacting, and breathtaking. A remarkable writer, Woodson illustrates the damning invisibility and unrelenting objectification of girls in this tender tale.'
‘My expectations for this book were high, and still I found myself astounded. Another Brooklyn packs so much work into such a beautiful, poignant narrative. Entirely accessible, it elevates voices too often unheard. This is essential reading.'
‘In Jacqueline Woodson's soaring choral poem of a novel…four young friends…navigate the perils of adolescence, mean streets and haunted memory in 1970s Brooklyn, all while dreaming of escape.'
‘[E]ntwined coming-of-age narratives - lost mothers, wounded war vets, nodding junkies, menacing streetscapes - are starkly realistic, yet brim with moments of pure poetry.'
'Jacqueline Woodson is a gorgeous writer…lyrical prose, really, really beautiful.'
‘Another Brooklyn is another kind of book, another kind of beautiful, lyrical, hallucinatory, heartbreaking and powerful novel...This is an incredible and memorable book.'
‘Jacqueline Woodson's spare, emphatic novel about young women growing up in 1970s Bushwick brings some of our deepest silences-about danger, loss, and black girls' coming of age-into powerful lyric speech. Another Brooklyn is heartbreaking and restorative, a gorgeous and generous paean to all we must leave behind on the path to becoming ourselves.'
‘In this elegant and moving novel, Jacqueline Woodson explores the beauty and burden of growing up girl in 1970's Brooklyn through the lens of one unforgettable narrator. The guarded hopes and whispered fears that August and her girlfriends share left me thinking about the limits and rewards of friendship well after the novel's end. Full of moments of grief, grace, and wonder, Another Brooklyn proves that Jacqueline Woodson is a master storyteller.'
‘Jacqueline Woodson's Another Brooklyn is a wonder. With a poet's soul and a poet's eye for image and ear for lyrical language, Woodson delivers a moving meditation on girlhood, love, loss, hurt, friendship, family, faith, longing, and desire. This novel is a love letter to a place, an era, and a group of young women that we've never seen depicted quite this way or this tenderly. Woodson has created an unforgettable, entrancing narrator in August. I'll go anywhere she leads me.'
‘The novel's richness defies its slim page count. In her poet's prose, Woodson not only shows us backward-glancing August attempting to stave off growing up and the pains that betray youth, she also wonders how we dream of a life parallel to the one we're living.'
‘Woodson crafts a haunting coming-of-age story of four best friends in Brooklyn, New York...Here is an exploration of family - both the ones we are born into and the ones we make for ourselves - and all the many ways we try to care for these people we love so much, sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing. A stunning achievement from one of the quietly great masters of our time.'
‘Woodson…combines grit and beauty in a series of stunning vignettes, painting a vivid mural of what it was like to grow up African-American in Brooklyn during the 1970s…Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman's life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.'
'Her words like summer lightning get caught in my throat and I draw her up from southern roots to a Brooklyn of a thousand names, where she and her three ‘sisters' learn to navigate a new season. A new herstory. Everywhere I turn, my dear Sister Jacqueline, I hear your words, a wild sea pausing in the wind.'
‘For all the tough lessons she delivers, Woodson also writes with a consistent warmth and compassion.'
'The plot and language of Another Brooklyn are simple, but the themes and emotions are not. This remarkable book is like water. It is deceptively fluid, the languid language and pacing circling back around itself, deepening with each whirl. What begins as a homecoming novel, shifts into a coming-of-age tale until, at the end, the book has turned again and we see that this story is an elegy for both girlhood and a Brooklyn that no longer exists.'