Brown, Elaine Meryl
Brown, Elaine Meryl
PERSONAL: Children: David. Education: Graduated from Wheaton College, 1977.
CAREER: Writer. FYI (television program), American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., writer; Showtime Networks, creative director; Home Box Office, vice president of special markets in creative services. Volunteer for President's Commission, Wheaton College.
AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award for writing, Academy of Television Arts and Scientists, for FYI.
Lemon City (novel), Strivers Row/One World (New York, NY), 2004.
Also contributor to national publications including Essence and Women's World.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A sequel to Lemon City.
SIDELIGHTS: Elaine Meryl Brown revealed in an interview with Gary Johnson for Black Men in America.com that she had first thought about writing a novel in the seventh grade. However, Brown did not commit herself to the project until she was an adult and then took eight years to see it through to completion. The resulting novel, Lemon City, is about a young woman from a successful, all-black community in Virginia who breaks her town's number one rule and marries an "outsider."
Lemon City was met with positive reviews. Writing for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Oline H. Cogdill noted that "Brown paints an energetic portrait of a tight black community that, like it or not, is being invaded by the outside world." A Publishers Weekly contributor acknowledged Brown as "a welcome new voice in African-American fiction." A critic for Kirkus Reviews described the novel as "part family saga and part whodunit," and considered Lemon City "a modest tale of a young woman coming of age the hard way."
Brown told Johnson that when she started writing Lemon City, she knew she wanted to write something "entertaining and fun that would make people smile." She also offered some advice to other writers trying to begin their careers: "You have to sacrifice a lot of things. And you can't go out and you can't do a lot of things—because you have to sit down and write."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Lemon City, p. 1816.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2004, review of Lemon City, p. 505.
Publishers Weekly, July 19, 2004, review of Lemon City, p. 144.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, November 10, 2004, Oline H. Cogdill, review of Lemon City.
BlackMeninAmerica.com, http://www.blackmeninamerica.com/ (October 13, 2005), Gary Johnson, "Welcome to Lemon City: An Interview with Elaine Meryl Brown."
Elaine Meryl Brown Home Page, http://www.elainemerylbrown.com (October 13, 2005).
New York Daily News Online, http://www.nydailynews.com/ (August 6, 2004), Celia McGee, "Literary Longings Bear Fruit: 'Lemon City.'"