The Women of Brewster Place
, (1982) is the first novel by American author Gloria Naylor
Gloria Naylor is an African American novelist and educator.-Early life:Born in New York, she was the first child to Roosevelt Naylor and Alberta McAlpin. As Naylor grew up, her father was a transit worker and her mother was a telephone operator. When Naylor was young, her mother encouraged her to...
. It was adapted into the 1989 miniseries The Women of Brewster Place
The Women of Brewster Place is a TV miniseries that aired on March 19,1989 & March 20,1989 on ABC. The miniseries is based upon the 1982 novel by Gloria Naylor. It was produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions with a teleplay by Karen Hall...
and the 1990 ongoing series Brewster Place
Brewster Place is a short lived American drama series which aired on ABC in May 1990. The series was a spinoff of the 1989 miniseries The Women of Brewster Place, which was based upon Gloria Naylor's novel of the same name...
by Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...
's Harpo Productions
Harpo Productions, Inc. is an incorporated US-based multimedia production company founded by Oprah Winfrey . It also includes Harpo Films & Harpo Radio, Inc....
; it won the National Book Award
The National Book Awards are a set of American literary awards. Started in 1950, the Awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the current year. In 1989 the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization which now oversees and manages the National Book...
in 1983. Despite the title, the novel explores the lives of both men and women in an urban setting and examines relationships, both in terms of friendship and romantic love, including homosexual relationships.
The Women of Brewster Place is a novel told in seven short stories, or vignettes. Of the seven stories, six are centered on individual characters, while the final story is about the entire community. The primary characters and the title characters of each chapter are all women and residents of Brewster Place.
In each chapter, one or more of the seven women are involved with the main character of that particular story, such as Mattie appearing in Etta Mae's story or Kiswana showing up in Cora Lee's.
The women of Brewster Place are "hard-edged, soft-centered, brutally demanding, and easily pleased". Their names are Mattie Michael, Etta Mae Johnson, Lucielia Turner, Kiswana/Melanie Browne, Cora Lee, Lorraine, and Theresa. Each of their lives are explored in several short stories. These short stories also chronicle the ups and downs many women of color face.
A new musical adaptation of The Women of Brewster Place
was commissioned for the stage. The musical premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA on September 12, 2007, the same theatre that also co-produced the show itself. It was directed by Molly Smith. The Women of Brewster Place
toured several cities, opening to several positive reviews.