Queen of Harlem

Queen of Harlem

by Brian Keith Jackson
4.3 8

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Overview

Queen of Harlem by Brian Keith Jackson

An African American Breakfast at Tiffany’s–a hip, refreshingly candid tale of identity and self—discovery from the critically acclaimed author of The View from Here and Walking Through Mirrors.

Mason Randolph, a black preppie of impeccable Southern pedigree, is bound for Stanford Law School after graduating from college. Before embarking on the path to his golden future, however, he takes a detour through Harlem, where he intends to live "authentically" with "real black people."

Mason takes the name "Malik" and moves into the orbit of the ever—fabulous Carmen, uptown diva and doyenne of Harlem. Carmen, always ready to have a handsome young man at her fabulous soirees and to add to her devoted entourage, happily takes him under her wing. Fueled by his parents' money and dodging the people who remember him as Mason Randolph, "Malik" masquerades as a "ghettonian," exploring the wonders and pleasures of a Harlem in the midst of a second Renaissance. But his odyssey takes a different turn when he meets Kyra, whose world mirrors the one he has abandoned. As he contemplates the choices Kyra has made, and begins to reexamine his own presumptions about identity and authenticity, Mason realizes that everyone has something to hide and that to get what we want, we have to be willing to let go of our secrets.

People
compared Brian Keith Jackson's remarkable first novel, The View from Here, to the works of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, and Publishers Weekly called it "an extraordinary debut...[by] a formidable craftsman and exceptionally gifted storyteller." A novel rich in humor and insight, The Queen of Harlem will earn Jackson a much—deserved place in the center of today’s literary landscape.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385505352
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 05/21/2002
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 352 KB

About the Author

BRIAN KEITH JACKSON has received fellowships from Art Matters, the Jerome Foundation, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. The View from Here won the American Library Association Literary Award for First Fiction from the Black Caucus of America. Jackson lives in Harlem.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Queen of Harlem 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is sophisticated but far from boring. While it's a little slow to start, once it gets going you want more and more. While Mason is a great character...Carmen with her true diva appeal, steals the show, and you immediately understand why she is The Queen of Harlem. Although the ending leaves you wanting more, the reader should understand why it had to end the way that it did. The book is very smoke and mirrors but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a wonderful read and I was not able to put it down for anything. The way he captures both lives is so amazing you will start to see Malik and Carmen in their situations as if they were right in front of you. When Mason becomes Malik he changes completely and you can't even tell its him anymore because he gets too caught up in his own lie that you become caught up with him and forget!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a fast read that you will not be able to put down until the last page. You will find yourself laughing outloud and picturing Malik in the streets of Harlem. This novel was so good I had to go out and get the other books by Brian Keith Jackson. I wouldn't change a thing about this beautifully written novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Queen of Harlem, in my opinion was an extemely interesting book especialy since I have a love for Harlem. I was familiar with many of the streets and especially the restaurants mentioned by Mason Randolph. The Soho arena is also a favorite for my husband & me. The writing style and content was well designed, it's a book I would highly recommend. It also goes to show a well-learned lesson: We should never judge a person by their appearances because you never know what a person has @ home or in their bank account. Overall, The Queen of Harlem will definitely bring out that part of you that has a love for Harlem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this book is a good read but it is a bit slow. One of those books that you want to keep going just to make sure its gonna be as good as you thought.. it doesnt meet up to high expectations so if you go in expecting just an okay read- this is it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down! I've never been to New York, but after reading this book, not only have I been there, but I love it. Plan on going soon. Great book for summer reading. Another great book to read is In-Law Drama. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel includes mystery, humor, and drama. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. I wish it was more of it. I would like to see a book tlnumber 2.