‘Female-centered’ Diversity: Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place

Pooja Kukreja


This paper attempts to read Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place as an expression of the heterogeneity of black women’s experiences. Published in 1982, the novel anticipates the focus on the diversity of women’s lives and the women of colour, that were to become the defining features of third-wave feminism. The text subverts the traditional notions of black identity by portraying African-American women as a diversified and divided community, even as it interrogates the very notion of blackness. Through the various lines along which the community is divided emerges a nuanced image of the black community in which blackness is an ontological category, not to be tied down to ugly, beautiful, or any other specifics.


black woman, diversity, divided community, blackness, feminism

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