Gwendolyn Brooks Maud Martha: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780404113681

Maud Martha: A Novel

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9780404113681: Maud Martha: A Novel
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September 2003 marked the 50th anniversary of Maud Martha, the only novel published by esteemed poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Initially entitled ""American Family Brown"" the work would eventually come to symbolize some of Brooks' most provocative writing. In a novel that captures the essence of Black life, Brooks recognizes the beauty and strength that lies within each of us.

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Gwendolyn Brooks was the first African American to win the Pulitzer prize (1950), and she was the poetry consultant for the Library of Congress and the Poet Laureate of Illinois.

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When Maud Martha Brown is seven years old, what she likes even better than "candy buttons, and books, ..and the west sky" are dandelions: "Yellow jewels for everyday studding the patched green dress of her back yard." Maud Martha's nine-year-old sister, Helen, is heart-catchingly beautiful; Maud Martha comforts herself with knowing that what is common - like the demurely pretty dandelion with "only ordinary allurements" - is also a flower. Through pithy and poetic chapter-moments - "spring landscape: detail," "death of grandmother," "first beau," "low yellow," "everybody will be surprised" - Maud Martha grows up, gets married, and gives birth to a daughter. Maud Martha, a gentle woman with "scraps of baffled hate in her, hate with no eyes, no smile..." who knows "while people did live they would be grand, would be glorious and brave, would have nimble hearts that would beat and beat," is portrayed with exquisitely imaginative and tender detail by Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen

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Brooks, Gwendolyn
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