Maud Martha

Maud Martha Download Maud+Martha

Maud Martha

September 2003 marked the 50th anniversary of Maud Martha, the only novel published by esteemed poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Initially entitled ""American Family Brown"" the work would eventually come to symbolize some of Brooks' most provocative writing. In a novel that captures the essence of Black life, Brooks recognizes the beauty and strength that lies within each of us.

When Maud Martha Brown is seven years old, what she likes even better than "candy buttons, and books, ..and the west sky" are dandelions: "Yellow jewels for everyday studding the patched green dress of her back yard." Maud Martha's nine-year-old sister, Helen, is heart-catchingly beautiful; Maud Martha comforts herself with knowing that what is common - like the demurely pretty dandelion with "only ordinary allurements" - is also a flower. Through pithy and poetic chapter-moments - "spring landscape: detail," "death of grandmother," "first beau," "low yellow," "everybody will be surprised" - Maud Martha grows up, gets married, and gives birth to a daughter. Maud Martha, a gentle woman with "scraps of baffled hate in her, hate with no eyes, no smile..." who knows "while people did live they would be grand, would be glorious and brave,...

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