Sunday, February 07, 2010


Across 110th Street—Harlem is changing, in this latest novel by Virginia Deberry and Donna Grant. A familiar character, former fiancée of Jewel Prescott from Better Than I Know Myself, Dwight Dixon emerges at the center of controversy. With good intentions, but ulterior motives Dwight decides to make his own mark on the landscape of Harlem by building Dixon Plaza--a multi-million dollar commercial/residential skyrise. As in Better Than I Know Myself, Dwight’s actions and those of his family members threaten to destroy his dream.

Again, DeBerry and Grant have written a page-turner that kept me up late nights with a tissue box beside me as I became engrossed in the lives of Avery Lyons, Dwight Dixon, Jazz Christmas and characters I already knew from Better Than I Know Myself. Uptown has all the ingredients that offer ardent readers a satisfying read: relatable characters we either love, or love to hate; contemporary issues that are pertinent to those of us who care about our people and our heritage; and a strong believable plot infused with passionate conflict---ALL set in Harlem, a place which still holds the aroma of Langston Hughes’ dreams: “What happens to a Dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun . . . or does it explode?”

Perhaps Uptown: A Novel is also a tribute to the place where so many Black people realized their dreams during the Harlem Renaissance, to encourage more of us to do the same today.

Angela Reid—President of Imani Literary Group-Metro Atlanta
posted by DeBerry and Grant at 11:56 AM

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