The Men of Brewster Place

Naylor, Gloria

Published by Hyperion, 1998
ISBN 10: 0786864214 / ISBN 13: 9780786864218
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First Printing of the first edition. Signed by Gloria Naylor directly on the title page. Both book and dust jacket in fine condition. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Naylor returns to the fictional neighborhood, this time focusing on the men behind the women who inhabited that desolate block of row houses, telling their tragic, sad, funny, and heroic stories.

Review: Gloria Naylor revisits the dilapidated brick walls, sagging ceilings, and decrepit plumbing of Brewster Place, a feeble fortress that jealously guards the hell, heartache, and hope of its tenants. Ben, the kind, alcoholic janitor from The Women of Brewster Place returns as a mythical minstrel of sorts, wandering in and out of the lives of Brewster's male denizens, introducing their stories, each a quest for the meaning of manhood.

For autistic Brother Jerome, masculine identity comes in the form of a rickety upright piano whose missing keys and wobbly wires burst to life when he plays. Jerome plays so well (better than Count Basie, mind you) that his hedonistic mother decides not to institutionalize him so she can charge for his performances. Eugene, however, has a more difficult act to shore: he's married, he's a father, and he's gay. Ceil, his wife, doesn't know that's why he keeps leaving, so she takes family matters into her own hands and sends Eugene into a bottomless pit of guilt and self-loathing. Basil looks for his redemption in a contemptuous trash bag named Keisha and her two beautiful, neglected sons, Jason and Eddie. Will Basil find atonement for his sins against his mother if he gives those boys what he never received as a child? The men of Brewster Place continue to stream into the story in raw, biting vignettes until the stage is full and the future of their community is threatened. Can these men come together and reclaim what's theirs? The answer lies at the root of self-worth and sexual identity. Or, in the words of Ben, "Brewster Place is a small street but it seems there's an endless supply of I coulda, I shoulda, but didn't. Can you call it any man's blues? I don't know, but you can definitely call it the black man's blues." --Rebekah Warren

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Men of Brewster Place
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition

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