The Literature Of Paule Marshall

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In her autobiographical essay, From the Poets in the Kitchen, novelist Paule Marshall describes the aesthetic roots of her fiction. “The group of women around the table long ago; they taught me my first lessons in the narrative art,” she recalls. “They trained my ear. They set a standard of excellence. This is why the best of my work must be attributed to them; it stands as a testimony to the rich legacy of language and culture they so freely passed on to me in the word shop of the kitchen” (Contemporary Black Biography, 1995). Valenza Pauline Burke, later known as Paule Marshall, is an American novelist, whose novels emphasize the necessity for black Americans to regain their African heritage. She was born on April 9, 1929 in Brooklyn New York for Ada and Samuel Burke. Through her literature, she highlights the oppressive systems that are in place. Brown Girl, Brownstones, published in 1959, was Paule Marshall’s first novel which describes the life of Barbadian immigrants in Brooklyn during the Great Depression and then in World War II. The primary characters include Selina and Ina Boyce and their parents, who suffer from racism and extreme poverty (Martino Fine Books, 2014). In her debut novel, Marshall utilizes diverse elements of the prose genre to transmit different perspectives in American immigration as highlighted by Donette A. Francis in her article, Paule Marshall: New Accents on Immigrant America. Donette Francis is an Associate Professor of English at the

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