All-Bright Court Pa

All-Bright Court Pa

4.0 4
by Connie Rose Porter
     
 

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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… See more details below

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.

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:
05/10/2000
Pages:
244
Sales rank:
706,911
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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Terry McMillan
Terry McMillan

Magical . . . exquisite detail, accurate dialogue.

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