8+ quotes from The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

Quotes from The Women of Brewster Place

Gloria Naylor ·  192 pages

Rating: (15.8K votes)


“Time's passage through the memory is like molten glass that can be opaque or crystalize at any given moment at will: a thousand days are melted into one conversation, one glance, one hurt, and one hurt can be shattered and sprinkled over a thousand days. It is silent and elusive, refusing to be damned and dripped out day by day; it swirls through the mind while an entire lifetime can ride like foam on the deceptive, transparent waves and get sprayed onto the conciousness at ragged, unexpected intervals. ”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“Time's passage through the memory is like molten glass that can be opaque or crystallize at any given moment at will: a thousand days are melted into one conversation, one glance, one hurt, and one hurt can be shattered and sprinkled over a thousand days.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“Brewster Place became especially fond of its colored daughters as they milled like determined spirits among its decay, trying to make it home. Nutmeg arms leaned over windowsills, gnarled ebony legs carried groceries up double flights of steps, and saffron hands strung out wet laundry on backyard lines. Their perspiration mingled with the steam from boiling pots of smoked pork greens, and it curled on the edges of the aroma of vinegar douches and Evening in Paris cologne that drifted through the street where they stood together - hands on hips, straight-backed, round-bellied, high-behinded women who threw their heads back when they laughed and exposed strong teeth and dark gums. They cursed, badgered, worshiped, and shared their men. Their love drove them to fling dishcloths in someone else's kitchen to help him make the rent, or to fling hot lye to help him forget that bitch behind the counter at the five-and-dime. They were hard-edged, soft-centered, brutally demanding, and easily pleased, these women of Brewster Place. They came, they went, grew up, and grew old beyond their years. Like an ebony phoenix, each in her own time and with her own season had a story.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“Curl moaned. Mattie rocked. Propelled by the sound, Mattie rocked her out of that bed, out of that room, into a blue vastness just underneath the sun and above time. She rocked her over Aegean seas so clean they shine like crystal, so clear the fresh blood of sacrificed babies torn from their mothers arms and given to Neptune could be seen like pink froth on the water. She rocked her on and on, past Dachau, where soul-gutted Jewish mothers swept their children's entrails off laboratory floors. They flew past the spilled brains of Senegalese infants whose mothers had dashed them on the wooden sides of slave ships. And she rocked on.
She rocked her into her childhood and let her see murdered dreams. And she rocked her back, back into the womb, to the nadir of her hurt, and they found it-a slight silver splinter, embedded just below the surface of her skin. And Mattie rocked and pulled-and the splinter gave way, but its roots were deep, gigantic, ragged, and they tore up flesh with bits of fat and muscle tissue clinging to them. They left a huge hole, which was already starting to pus over, but Mattie was satisfied. It would heal.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“She had stepped into the thin strip of earth that they claimed as their own. Bound by the last building on Brewster and a brick wall, they reigned in that unlit alley like dwarfed warrior kings. Born with the appendages of power, circumcised by the guillotine, and baptized with the steam from a million non reflective mirrors, these young men wouldn't be called upon to thrust a bayonet into an Asian farmer, target a torpedo, scatter their iron seed from a B-52 into the wound of the earth, point a finger to move a nation, or stick a pole into the moon--and they knew it. They only had that three-hundred-foot alley to serve them as stateroom, armored tank, and executioner's chamber.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“The unpainted walls of the long rectangular room were soaked with the smell of greasy chicken and warm, headless beer. The brown and pink faces floated above the trails of used cigarette smoke like bodiless carnival balloons.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“Ceil moaned. Mattie rocked. Propelled by the sound, Mattie rocked her out of that bed, out of that room, into a blue vastness just underneath the sun and above time. She rocked her over Aegean seas so clean they shine like crystal, so clear the fresh blood of sacrificed babies torn from their mothers arms and given to Neptune could be seen like pink froth on the water. She rocked her on and on, past Dachau, where soul-gutted Jewish mothers swept their children's entrails off laboratory floors. They flew past the spilled brains of Senegalese infants whose mothers had dashed them on the wooden sides of slave ships. And she rocked on.
She rocked her into her childhood and let her see murdered dreams. And she rocked her back, back into the womb, to the nadir of her hurt, and they found it-a slight silver splinter, embedded just below the surface of her skin. And Mattie rocked and pulled-and the splinter gave way, but its roots were deep, gigantic, ragged, and they tore up flesh with bits of fat and muscle tissue clinging to them. They left a huge hole, which was already starting to pus over, but Mattie was satisfied. It would heal.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


“Etta and Mattie went way back, a singular term that claimed co-knowledge of all the important events in their lives and almost all of the unimportant ones.”
― Gloria Naylor, quote from The Women of Brewster Place


About the author

Gloria Naylor
Born place: in New York, The United States
Born date January 25, 1950
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