Paule Marshall

Paule Marshall was an American author known for her novels that explore themes of racial and sexual identity, as well as the complex issues facing African-Americans. She was born on April 9, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York, and her work often drew on her own experiences as the daughter of immigrants from Barbados. Marshall's notable works include 'Brown Girl, Brownstones,' 'Praisesong for the Widow,' and 'Daughters.' Her writing is celebrated for its lyrical prose and its deep insight into the lives and struggles of her characters. Paule Marshall passed away on August 12, 2019.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Brown Girl, Brownstones

    This novel explores the life of a young Barbadian-American girl growing up in Brooklyn during the Great Depression and World War II. The protagonist struggles with her identity as she navigates the cultural divide between her parents' traditional Barbadian values and her own American aspirations. The story delves into the themes of immigration, cultural identity, race, and gender, as the protagonist comes of age and seeks to establish her independence.

  2. 2. Praisesong For The Widow

    The novel explores the transformative journey of Avey Johnson, a middle-aged African-American woman who, while on a cruise in the Caribbean, experiences a profound personal crisis that compels her to confront her disconnected life and lost cultural heritage. As memories of her ancestral past and her childhood in the South resurface, Avey abandons her affluent but sterile lifestyle to embark on a spontaneous pilgrimage to the island of Carriacou. There, through the island's rituals and the companionship of the local people, she reconnects with the communal values of her heritage and finds the strength to reclaim her sense of identity and purpose. The story is a lyrical meditation on the importance of heritage, memory, and the need for a sense of belonging.