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Book Title: Maud Martha|
The author of the book: Gwendolyn Brooks
Edition: Third World Press
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.28 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: October 1st 1992
ISBN 13: 9780883780619
Loaded: 2952 times
Reader ratings: 6.4
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The year 2017 marks the hundredth year after Gwendolyn Brooks' birth, so I felt it appropriate to begin my reading year with her only full length novel Maud Martha. A coming of age tale of Maud Martha Brown Phillips, Brooks short novel speaks of the African American experience in the 1940s.
The Brown family makes their home on Chicago's south side. Facing discrimination on a nearly daily basis, the family is nearly evicted from their home, yet at the last moment are able to call themselves home owners. The parents have respectable jobs and attempt to instill these values in their three children Helen, Maud Martha, and Harry. Unfortunately, the two girls realize from a young age that skin color could inhibit their progress in society.
Maud Martha comes of age and marries Paul Phillips. The couple dreams of a lavish apartment or house with all the fixings but face reality and prejudices and settle for a kitchenette (forerunner to studio) apartment. Paul works as hard as he can to provide for Maud Martha but finds life frustrating at times; he is much lighter skinned than his wife and, while too dark to pass, enjoys entries into society that he would be unable to do so in the company of Maud Martha.
Brooks poetic prose is lovely as always and makes for easy reading. Last year I read for the first time Jacqueline Woodson's poetic novellas. Woodson's work appears to be a descendant of Maud Martha, a slim novel poetic in its voice. Used to Brooks poetry that flows off the pages, she easily transferred this voice to novel form to describe Maud Martha's life. The light nature of the prose made it easy to digest difficult topics as discrimination and the African American culture prior to integration. As a result of Brooks' works, readers have insight into African American society during the 1940s and early 1950s.
Fifteen years after the publication of Maud Martha, Gwendolyn Brooks was named a poet laureate in Illinois. A fixture in the Bronzeville community that she called home, Brooks lived as respected member of Chicago until her death in 2000. Winning the Pulitzer for her poetry collection Annie Allen in 1950, Brooks novel is equally impressive and should be lauded. A window into African American daily life during the 1940s, Maud Martha rates 4.5 beautiful stars.
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Read information about the authorAlthough she was born on 7 June 1917 in Topeka, Kansas--the first child of David and Keziah Brooks--Gwendolyn Brooks is "a Chicagoan." The family moved to Chicago shortly after her birth, and despite her extensive travels and periods in some of the major universities of the country, she has remained associated with the city's South Side. What her strong family unit lacked in material wealth was made bearable by the wealth of human capital that resulted from warm interpersonal relationships. When she writes about families that--despite their daily adversities--are not dysfunctional, Gwendolyn Brooks writes from an intimate knowledge reinforced by her own life.
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