Synopses & Reviews
On the island of Willow Springs, off the Georgia coast, the powers of healer Mama Day are tested by her great niece, Cocoa, a stubbornly emancipated woman endangered by the island's darker forces. A powerful generational saga at once tender and suspenseful, overflowing with magic and common sense.
"[Mama Day] combines elements of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker....Naylor manages her crowded narrative with aplomb, mixing social satire with folk humour and covering a wide emotional range. Like Morrison, she deploys rich, sensuous imagery; her narrative swings from myth to social realism, juxtaposing the African past with contemporary New York. The history of Willow Springs is told from the eighteenth century to the 1990s but the island exists outside time and is the setting for a tale of melodrama and intrigue. Naylor doesn't, however, load her story with significances that it can't bear; Mama Day is funny and entertaining, evocative and powerful." The Times Literary Supplement
"Naylor has a dazzling sense of humour, rich comic observation and that indefinable quality we call 'art.'" Rita Mae Brown
"This is a wonderful novel, full of spirit and sass and wisdom, and completely realized." Washington Post
About the Author
Gloria Naylor was born in New York City in 1950, where she grew up and still lives. She received her B.A. in English from Brooklyn College and her M.A. in Afro-American studies from Yale University. She has taught writing and literature at George Washington University, New York University, Boston University, and Cornell University.
She is the author of The Women of Brewster Place, which won the American Book Award for first fiction in 1983; Linden Hills, published in 1985; and Bailey's Cafe.