Book of the Week: Another Brooklyn – Jacqueline Woodson

Everyone at Harper is proud to be associated with this project. Woodson is the author of many children’s books including Brown Girl Dreaming which won the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. To say that the book is beloved is an understatement—it spent thirty weeks on the NYT Bestseller List.

So when booksellers heard that Woodson had written her first adult novel in twenty years, demand for early reading copies went through the roof. No surprise that Another Brooklyn is the #1 Indie Next Pick for August as well as being selected for several first edition clubs. And signed copies are available in Indie bookstores.
While Another Brooklyn uses a familiar story structure—the coming of age story—the plot is filtered through the voice of a now-grown narrator who is remembering her friendship with three other girls from the perspective of twenty years later.

If you’re tempted to think you’ve heard that one before, I’ll just say: You haven’t heard Woodson tell it. Her haunting, musical, dream-like prose is completely singular. It led Kirkus to conclude that Another Brooklyn is “[a] stunning achievement from one of the quietly great masters of our time.”

Anticipation for the book has been building since early summer when it was included in the Summer Books Round Up on The Today Show, in People Magazine, Time and the Wall Street Journal. It has received four starred advance reviews including a starred and boxed review in Publishers Weekly.

At on sale, Woodson will appear on NPR’s Fresh Air and the book will be covered in the New York Times Magazine and on NPR’s Weekend Edition. I’m sure there will be much more to come.

Bookseller pal Nicole Yasinsky is on the Indie Next shelf talker for the book. She nailed the appeal so I’ll have her lead the many endorsements…

Jacqueline Woodson has crafted a beautiful, heart-wrenching, novel of a young girl’s coming-of-age in Brooklyn. She effortlessly weaves her poetic prose to tell a story of the relationships young women form, the yearning to belong, and the bonds that are created. As vivid as any of the characters is Brooklyn – a place at once harsh, but that becomes home, and plays its role in everything that goes on in its streets. Jacqueline Woodson is one of the most skilled storytellers of our time, and I continue to love and devour each masterpiece she creates!”
— Nicole Yasinsky, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

 “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.”
Booklist (starred review)

‘Sylvia, Angela and Gigi, the four of us sharing the weight of growing up Girl in Brooklyn, as though it was a bag of stones we passed among ourselves.’ With such nuanced moments of metaphor as these, Woodson conveys the sweet beauty that lies within the melancholy of August’s childhood memories. Now, 20 years later, August has returned to Brooklyn to help her brother bury their father. In lyrical bursts of imagistic prose, Woodson gives us the story of lives lived, cutting back and forth between past and present. As August’s older self reckons with her formative childhood experiences and struggles to heal in the present, haunting secrets and past trauma come to light….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.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“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….August’s memories of her Brooklyn companions—a tightly knit group of neighborhood girls—are memorable and profound….With dreams as varied as their conflicts, the young women confront dangers lurking on the streets, discover first love, and pave paths that will eventually lead them in different directions. Woodson draws on all the senses to trace the milestones in a woman’s life and how her early experiences shaped her identity.”
Publishers Weekly (boxed, starred review)

“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.”
— Ann Patchett

Jacqueline Woodson is an artist, just truly an artist.  Her words are a warm, loving hug, a nervous first kiss, a punch in the gut, and the sorrow of heartbreak, all rolled into on beautifully, intense ball of emotion.  Her words have the ability to wash over your soul, settle into spirit and never leave.  I am elated that she has written an adult novel.  It is long overdue.  Adults need to experience the godsend that is Jacqueline Woodson.
—  Kim Brock, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything as beautiful as the melody of Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn. As I walked along the streets of a Brooklyn suffocating in racial tension and poverty with a beautiful, lost, black girl named August growing up without her mother, I was halted, over and over again, by the beauty of Woodson’s prose. This book is filled with words that spread over me like a clear summer’s day. In dealing with race and memory, paired with that quiet, rolling ache we call girlhood, Another Brooklyn manifests the strongest truths: that life powers forward with or without the people we hold dearest; that the present never really exists; and that maybe where we come from has everything to do with where we’re going.”
— Claire Tobin, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Another Brooklyn (9780062359988) by Jacqueline Woodson. $22.99 hardcover. 8/9/16 on sale.

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