Praisesong For The Widow by Paule Marshall

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.

The 4506th greatest book of all time


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Total Points: 108

Since this book was first published in 1983, there is a penalty of 14.4%. The age adjusted score is 92.45.

This is to prevent newer books from reaching super high on the ranked list of the greatest books of all time. The greatest books should also stand the test of time.