No matter how you feel about gentrification, there is no denying that it has touched nearly every corner of Brooklyn and is changing the look of some of the most historic neighborhoods.
Fort Greene native, Naima Coster has a deeply personal understanding of the impact of gentrification on long-time residents. The author, who currently teaches writing at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, wrote about the transformation of her beloved neighborhood for the New York Times in 2011. And now in Coster’s debut novel, Halsey Street, gentrification is a central theme.
After spending five years in Pittsburgh, Penelope Grand is returning to her Brooklyn neighborhood to care for her ailing father. But when she returns to the streets of her youth, she finds something different. Gentrification has turned the artist’s childhood streets into something almost unrecognizable. But as she adjusts to her new life in her old home, Penelope has to face some hard truths, learn some painful secrets, and work to repair some broken relationships. Halsey Street is a beautiful novel that deals with love, loss, family, and the inevitability of change.