Author Profile: Paule Marshall

Author Profile: Paule Marshall was an American writer.

Name: Paule Marshall


1959 – Brown Girl, Brownstones

1969 – The chosen place, The Timeless People

1983 – Praisesong for the Widow

1991 – Daughters

2000 – The fisher king

Background: Paule Marshall was born on 9th April 1929 in Brooklyn, New York, United States. She passed away on 12th August 2019, at Richmond, Virginia, United States. Her parents are Samuel Burke and Adriana Viola Clement Burke. In 1919 her father migrated from the island of Barbados in the Caribbean to New York. Her father left the family and wife and joined quasi-religious group. His wife independently brought up the children.

Marshall took a lot of inspiration from her mother by observing her relationship with her therapeutic language which helped in reaffirming self growth and developed in them a sense of self. She along with her children were able to tackle humiliation situations and face the world. Language seemed to be their refuge in their daily lives. When Marshall was around 13 years old she changed her name to Paule from Pauline, under the influence of the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Paule went to the Girls’ High School in Bedstuy. With the plan of becoming a social worker, she jointed Hunter College, City University of New York. During her college years, she felt ill but took a decision to major in English Literature. In 1953 she earned her B.A. degree at Brooklyn College and in 1955 completed her M.A. degree at Hunter College (1955). She got married to Kenneth Marshall, a psychologist but in 1963 they divorced. She later married a Haitian businessman, Nourry Menard in the 1970s.

Genre: Paule Marshall’s genre is fiction. In her initial career days wrote poetry but turned to prose later.

Literary Contributions: Paule Marshall was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship grant, at the age of 63 in the year 1992.  She has won the Dos Passos Prize.

Paule Marshall wrote for the nationally acclaimed and distributed magazine, Our World, which was edited for African-American readers. The magazine featured her writing discipline and finally helped in writing Brown Girl, Brownstones, her first novel.

She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1961 after which she published four novellas, Soul Clap Hands and Sing for which she won the National Institute of Arts Award. She was selected for a State Department-sponsored world tour by Langston Hughes, an association that proved to be a boon in her career. The New York Public Library designated her as a Literary Lion in 1994. In 2001 she inducted at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden into the Celebrity Path.

Unique Stylistic Features: Paule Marshall was popular for Brown Girl, Brownstones her debut novel in 1959.  The novel is about a girl Selina Boyce growing up in a small black immigrant community. While her father desires to return back to Barbados, her mother is desirous of confirming to principles of her new home and fulfil her American dream. Her works portray commanding themes including psychic fracture, migration, travel and working towards wholeness.

Garden by Yuichi YokoyamaGarden by Yuichi Yokoyama

Title: Garden Author: Yuichi Yokoyama Context: Garden by Yuichi Yokoyama is a graphic novel about a group of friends trying to enter into a garden located just beyond a wall. They are successful in the attempt but finally when they enter the find that there is no Eden. All that there