There are a few iconic Brooklyn books that manage to capture something unique to the era they were written, as well as the aspects of Brooklyn life that never change. Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and Hubert Selby Jr.’s “Last Exit to Brooklyn,” come to mind. But “Another Brooklyn” by Jacqueline Woodson, though only published three years ago, is already taking its well-deserved place in the Brooklyn literary canon.
“Another Brooklyn” is a novel about being a girl in 1970s Brooklyn, and all the beauty, hope and disappointment contained in that experience. More than anything, it’s about memory, the things that set it off and the things that warp it over time.
“My brother and I grew up motherless yet halfway whole. My brother had the faith my father brought him, and for a long time, I had 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 saying, Here. Help me carry this,” Woodson writes.
Jacqueline Woodson was known as a children’s author before she published “Another Brooklyn” in 2016. Her New York Times bestselling memoir “Brown Girl Dreaming” won the 2014 National Book Award. In 2015, the Poetry Foundation named Woodson the Young People’s Poet Laureate. She lives in Brooklyn.