All-Bright Court Pa

( 4 )

Overview

Set in a colorfully painted but crumbling housing project near a Buffalo, New York, steel mill, this "novel full of wisdom, grace and poetry" (Newsday) traces two decades in the lives of the project's residents. At the heart of this collective portrait is the Taylor family: Sam, Mary Kate, and their five children. For the Taylors and their neighbors, this is a time of tremendous optimism. The oldest boy, Mikey, shows special promise at school. Sam eats alongside his white coworkers at the local diner after his ...

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Overview

Set in a colorfully painted but crumbling housing project near a Buffalo, New York, steel mill, this "novel full of wisdom, grace and poetry" (Newsday) traces two decades in the lives of the project's residents. At the heart of this collective portrait is the Taylor family: Sam, Mary Kate, and their five children. For the Taylors and their neighbors, this is a time of tremendous optimism. The oldest boy, Mikey, shows special promise at school. Sam eats alongside his white coworkers at the local diner after his shift in the mill's inferno. The door to the white world seems to be opening. But time fades optimism: the steel industry falters, men lose their jobs. Mikey learns to distrust hope. The miracle of this heartbreaking story is its warmth in the face of tragic disappointment. All-Bright Court illuminates the dignity, faith, and humor that enable people to endure a world bound by devastating reality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Porter has mapped a rich fictional world . . . This is a powerful and affecting debut," The New York Times

"Magical . . . exquisite detail, accurate dialogue."—Terry McMillan

"A seamless story of disparate but parallel lives." The Chicago Tribune

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With clear-eyed simplicity, Porter's first novel sketches a portrait of community. Despite its name, All-Bright Court is a dreary and crumbling tenement resting beside a steel plant outside Buffalo, N.Y. The inhabitants are, for the most part, black steelworkers and their families who have migrated from the South. Samuel Taylor and his wife, Mary Kate, move to All-Bright Court in the early '60s and fill their home, No. 18, with children and hopes. Over the years, as Samuel worries about supporting his family and as Mikey, the oldest son, is labeled gifted and sent to brave a white prep school, the family struggles to reconcile hopes with reality. Other inhabitants of All-Bright Court make brief appearances, such as childless Venita and Moses, whose quiet sorrow pervades their daily lives, and crazy Isaac, whose childhood anger sets the tone for a bitter adulthood. Through the '60s and early '70s, the dying steel industry is reflected in the decay of All-Bright Court and the deterioration of its residents' dreams and spirit. Porter's vision is sound and her tale poignant, but her lyrical narrative and spare writing style require a tighter underlying structure. BOMC selection. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In her resonant first novel, Porter lays bare a modern social tragedy through a pointed, compassionate portrait of one family and their neighbors on crumbling All-Bright Court. Sam Taylor represents the scores of southern black men and families who migrated to the industrial North and the mythic promise of security and fulfillment. Sam, his wife Mary Kate, and their ever-growing family find in Buffalo what Tupelo would not offer: gas heat and running water, apparent social equality with European co-workers, and a privileged education for prematurely wise son Mikey. Porter, a survivor of Buffalo tenement life, reveals the betrayal of the Taylors by society, company, expectations, and even by racially confused Mikey, in this accomplished telling of a bittersweet story. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/91.-- Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618056798
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/10/2000
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 1,404,301
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Connie Porter is the author of ALL BRIGHT COURT, IMANI ALL MINE, and the Addy books in the Pleasant Company's American Girls series, which has sold more than 3 million copies. Porter was a fellow at Bread Loaf and was named a regional winner in Granta's Best Young American Novelist contest. She currently lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2003

    Great Characters...

    The characters in this book are great and well developed. The use of BEV is a bit overstated, but it is a pretty good book. The biggest problem I have is the ending! Its as if the author either ran out of things to say, or a deadline was approaching and she just gave the publisher what she had.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2001

    One of my favorites!

    I was assigned to read this book in my Freshman english class. This book was the only one I enjoyed reading that year. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2000

    Enchanting

    I picked up this book from a bargain table on a business trip - I certainly got more than I paid for. The main characters were intriguing and I could relate to many of them, as we all had some 'folks' like these in our families-if you are a baby boomer. I was continually anxious to return to my reading of this novel to see what was going to happen next. Overall it was entertaining and generally an easy read. However, there were too many 'endings' as characters moved in and out of the picture. It was difficult to connect some of the characters to the story or other characters. The ending left me puzzled, confused and a little disappointed. It left me feeling that there must be a 'Part II' out there somewhere. I will try another novel by Ms. Porter before I draw my conclusion on her writing style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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