Q&A with Brooklyn-based novelist Bernice L. McFadden

Bernice L. McFadden
Photo credit: Eric Payne

“All the world passes through Brooklyn,” Bernice L. McFadden tells the Brooklyn Eagle, “and that world has, more often than not, ended up in my books.” Author of eight critically acclaimed novels, McFadden was born and raised in Brooklyn.  This February she is reissuing “Nowhere Is a Place,” a novel that movingly tackles the intricacies of family relationships.  The story’s protagonist, prompted by an altercation with her mother, sets out to investigate her family’s past.  A poignant tale of self-discovery in the face of a complicated family history, “Nowhere Is a Place” received widespread praise when it was originally published in 2006.  In celebration of the book’s upcoming reissue, Brooklyn Eagle spoke to McFadden about her Brooklyn roots. The writer shares with us how the borough has inspired her novels, and offers a book recommendation.

Do you find that your physical surroundings inspire and cultivate your interest in writing?

Definitely. I draw great inspiration from historic buildings and nature.

Before becoming a professional writer, you had a career in fashion. What led you to change your career path?

I would not call it a career! …it was just a job. I always knew I wanted to write, and every job that I took was just a means to an end..or in my case, a new beginning.

What’s the best book you read this year? The Mercury Fountain by Eliza Factor.


Are you working on any new projects?Yes, I’m working on a novel that takes place during World War II.


McFadden will be appearing with author Courttia Newland at Greenlight Bookstore on Wednesday, February 20, at 7:30 pm.  Greenlight Bookstore is located at 686 Fulton St. in Fort Greene.

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