Townhouse Books

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown

Book CoverThe story of a young man growing up in Harlem in the 50s and 60s, Manchild in the Promised Land is Claude Brown's roman à clef, and the book that launched his career.

He grew up as a working class child who got involved in drugs, crime, and the NYC penal system by the time he was 8, was sent to a school for wayward boys by the time he was 14, and then turned himself around by the age of 18. At an age that many of his friends were just getting involved in petty crimes, he had decided to leave that life behind and try to do something important with it.

Aside from the compelling story, Manchild in the Promised Land paints a vivid picture of a neighborhood in the midst of decay. It's one thing to read about drug dealers in the local newspaper, but learning about how they ended up making that decision, or, how that decision was really made for them, is a whole other thing.

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  • Sounds great! I do love a memoir. Has anyone read "A Long Way Gone" yet?

    By Anna, at 8:36 AM  

  • This post has been removed by the author.

    By e, at 5:51 PM  

  • Oh, about the boy soldier? No, but I want to.

    Brian, the neighborhood descriptions sound especially interesting.

    By evt1618, at 5:52 PM  

  • I'm in the middle of Dave Eggers sorta fiction, sorta biography book about another boy soldier -- "What Is the What?". It's draining.

    By Anna, at 1:31 PM  

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