Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Staff Picks: Another Brooklyn - Adult Fiction

Another Brooklyn was my first book by Woodson, and I listened to it (my preferred “reading” method these days), rather than reading a print copy. As is so often the case in audiobooks, the narrator can make or break a title, and in this case Robin Miles complements the lyrical prose perfectly. Her tone and inflection capture the voices of Autumn and her girls as they mature from schoolgirls to young women in 1970’s Brooklyn:

If we had had jazz, would we have survived differently? If we had known our story was a blues with a refrain running through it, would we have lifted our heads, said to each other, This is memory again and again until the living made sense? Where would we be now if we had known there was a melody to our madness? Because even though Sylvia, Angela, Gigi, and I came together like a jazz improv—half notes tentatively moving toward one another until the ensemble found its footing and the music felt like it had always been playing—we didn't have jazz to know this was who we were.

Another Brooklyn tells the story of four young black women, each with her own story to tell… or not. The beauty of this book is in what is left unsaid as much as what is said, as Woodson reveals her characters in fits and starts, switching from character and time and place seemingly without warning. Funny, spare, and heartbreaking, Another Brooklyn is truly a great read.

Sarah Reynolds
Collection Development Manager