Brown, Gita 1958-
BROWN, Gita 1958-
ADDRESSES: Home—Providence, RI. Office—Rhode Island College, Bldg. 10, E. Campus, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Providence, RI 02908-1998.
CAREER: Rhode Island College, Providence, writer and editor.
Be I Whole (novel), MacMurray & Beck (Aspen, CO), 1995.
SIDELIGHTS: Author Gita Brown grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended the University of Michigan and Brown University, where she earned an M.F.A. in fiction writing. Her first novel, Be I Whole, begins in 1950s Detroit, where Papa Job, a West Indian who grew up in the city, finds Sizway, an island immigrant and herbalist, stealing vegetables from his cellar. The novel then chronicles the two characters' relationship as they marry, move to rural Ohio, raise children, and struggle with relationship and cultural issues. The story is narrated by an elderly West Indian woman.
Overall, reviews of Be I Whole were favorable and encouraging. Although some critics found weaknesses in the novel, they also recognized the author's strong talent as a writer. "The novel lacks sufficient drama to be fully gripping, but Brown narrates it crisply, demonstrating that she has the gifts of a fine storyteller," wrote one Publishers Weekly contributor. Others lauded the author's ability to develop a complex story line that has an almost mystical quality about it. Brown's novel "is a story within many stories, woven of tales and fables by the capable hands of a talented writer," commented Maryanne Hexberg in a review for the Blue Moon Review.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
African American Review, summer, 1997, Kari J. Winter, review of Be I Whole, p. 369.
Emerge, January, 1996, Daniel Garrett, review of Be I Whole, p. 76.
Publishers Weekly, October 2, 1995, review of Be I Whole, p. 58.
Blue Moon Review, http://www.thebluemoon.com/ (April 19, 2005), Maryanne Hexberg, review of Be I Whole.
Reading Group Choices Web site, http://www.readinggroupchoices.com/ (April 19, 2005), "Gita Brown."
Rhode Island College Web site, http://www.ric.edu/ (April 19, 2005), "Gita Brown."