January 22, 2022

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‘Brown Ladies,’ a Daring Debut That Follows Its Characters By Life and Past

‘Brown Girls,’ a Daring Debut That Follows Its Characters Through Life and Beyond

Andreades follows her cohort into their careers, their marriages, affairs and divorces, and into outdated age. Alongside the way in which lots of topics are turned over for examination. Like a DJ, the writer picks up the needle and places it again down in surprising locations.

In “Brown Ladies,” nostalgia is difficult. The ladies return to Queens to go to, and a landslide of reminiscences rush in: “That is the place I chased an ice cream truck for 5 freaking blocks, says Edel”; “Lisa confesses, I ran away from my mother on a day like this”; “At this intersection, says Dee, I noticed a woman get run over by a bus.”

For lots of them, for a thousand psycho-sociological causes, going house is unimaginable.

Andreades’s writing has financial system and freshness. “Brown Ladies” reads as very like poetry because it does like a novel, which is one other method of claiming: Don’t arrive right here anticipating a great deal of plot.

The chapters are brief, ramekin-size. The novel at all times appears to be stopping and beginning over, the way in which Janet Malcolm did in “Forty-One False Begins,” her New Yorker profile of the painter David Salle.

This high quality can relieve Andreades of doing the exhausting work of exploring character, or concepts, in actual depth.

A few of these brown women marry white boys, they usually’re conflicted about it. In bars, later in life, they stare at brown males. “Write our numbers on napkins. Depart, trembling.”

Virginia Woolf referred to dying as “the one expertise I shall by no means describe.” Andreades follows her characters proper into the afterlife. We slide down behind them, as if on a chute.

Demise! It tastes like feces, she writes, and in addition like “water purified by gravel within the Loire.” It’s by some means in line with this fearless novel that tasting notes are offered.

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