Cover image for Brothers and sisters
Title:
Brothers and sisters
Author:
Campbell, Bebe Moore, 1950-2006.
Edition:
Berkley trade paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkeley, 2000.

©1994
Physical Description:
476 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780425172674
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"This book is about succeeding--and surviving -even being happy, in a society where every card seems stacked against you. If this is a fair world, Bebe Moore Campbell will be remembered as the most important African-American novelist of this century -except for, maybe, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin" -Carolyn See, Washington Post Book World


Author Notes

Bebe Moore Campbell 1950-2006

Bebe Moore Campbell (b. 1950) is an award-winning author and a journalist. In her 1989 memoir, Sweet Summer: Growing up With and Without My Dad, she recalls living in Philadelphia with her mother during the school year and spending summers with her father in North Carolina. The book has been hailed for its bittersweet remembrances of a dual childhood and life in the South at the merge of the social revolution of the 1960s. Her other nonfiction includes Successful Women, Angry Men: Backlash in the Two-Career Marriage (1986). She has written the novels Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (1992) and Brothers and Sisters (1994).

Campbell's interest in mental health prompted here to write her first children's book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, published in September 2003. This book won the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Outstanding Literature Award for 2003. It tells the story of how a little girl copes with being reared by her mentally ill mother. Ms. Campbell was a member of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and a founding member of NAMI-Inglewood. Her book 72 Hour Hold also deals with mental illness. Her first play, "Even with the Madness", debuted in New York in June 2003.

Campbell has contributed nonfiction articles to Ms, Working Mother, Ebony, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Seventeen, Parents, and Glamour, and is a regular commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh. She died from complications related to brain cancer on November 27, 2006.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

/*STARRED REVIEW*/ Campbell's last novel, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine (1992), set the critics raving, and her second will do the same, especially since it examines the deep roots of the rage that ignited the L.A. riots and the high-octane, long-lasting emotions that continue to surge in their aftermath. Campbell has shrewdly chosen a bank as her stage, a downtown bank in the grip of a power struggle emerging under the banner of political correctness. Amid this turmoil, two ambitious women executives struggle to cross the great racial divide and become friends. Esther is black, determined, and cued to the realities of the marketplace. Mallory is white, uncertain, and appallingly naive. But she is also kind, lonely, and loving, while Esther can be cold and judgmental. As Campbell dramatizes the daunting paradoxes Esther and Mallory face in their careers and love lives, she illuminates a host of issues connected to race, culture, romance, and finance. She also brilliantly interprets all the shades of meaning inherent in the concept of "brothers and sisters." For African Americans, it's an expression of racial solidarity, but it can lead to questionable obligations and subtle forms of coercion. Brothers and sisters can also imply blind loyalty to one's gender, butultimately, the terms suggest that, at heart, we are all family, however dysfunctional. Campbell is a keen and candid social critic, and a masterful storyteller. (Reviewed June 1994)039913929XDonna Seaman


Publisher's Weekly Review

Further demonstrating the authoritative grasp of racial issues and the candid picture of African American life she brought to her first novel, Your Blues Ain't Like Mine , Campbell sets this story in Los Angeles during the aftermath of the Rodney King beating, the acquittal of the charged policemen and the subsequent riots. Her heroine, Esther Jackson--seemingly self-confident but quiveringly intense--has a good position as regional operations manager of a bank. Raised on Chicago's South Side, Esther has glass-ceilinged her way to a two-bedroom house in an L.A. suburb. But along with her success, Esther carries the contradictory burdens of compromise, determination and humiliation required of women of color who move up the corporate ladder. Campbell develops Esther's character by depicting her relationship with Tyrone, a man educationally, socially and economically ``beneath'' her; her growing friendship with white loan officer Mallory Post; the accusations surrounding her African American boss Humphrey's attempted rape of Mallory; the suspicions that her hiree, La Keesha, is stealing from inactive accounts at the bank. Esther learns about watching her own back while responding to the needs and realities of her friends' lives. Campbell's intriguing (if not always three-dimensional) cast of characters reveal the fears and hopes of people caught in a web of shrinking opportunities and institutionalized stereotypes of race, class and gender. Adroitly using the great racial divide of Los Angeles, this absorbing novel explores the intricacies of experience, knowledge and bias which perpetuate inequalities and segregated lives. 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; first serial to Essence; audio rights to Audio Renaissance; BOMC and QPB main selections; author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Campbell (Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, LJ 7/92), a frequent contributor to National Public Radio's news programming, has written an excellent novel exploring racial and sexual issues. Set in the heart of a Los Angeles still troubled by the aftermath of the April riots, the novel draws a realistic and evenhanded portrait of the internal and external conflicts regarding race experienced by characters of varied backgrounds. The story centers on Esther Jackson, an African American with a promising career in banking who is torn between her need to succeed professionally and her loyalty to other people of color. Taking the risk of hiring a black single mother, she later fears that her trust was misplaced. Similarly, she is heartened by the hiring of an African American man as a vice president of the bank, but he turns out not to be as ideal as she had hoped. Meanwhile, in her personal life, Esther finds herself torn between attractive, if lesser educated, men and those who match her professional attainments. Highly recommended.-Marie F. Jones, Muskingum Coll. Lib., New Concord, Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA‘Brothers and sisters mostly refer to those of African American heritage, although this book will appeal to a wide audience. Focused around corporate banking in L.A., the story is about company relationships and people of color wanting to advance to positions they believe they have earned. Attractive, well-educated Esther Jackson, a manager, has a great deal of resentment toward privileged white men and women who she feels have an easier climb up the ladder of success. Still, she becomes close to her coworker, Mallory, who is white. Esther is also looking for Mr. Right, who must possess plenty of cash and credit cards, thus eliminating mail deliverer Tyrone, who adores her. Things get complicated when a new black employee appears to be Mr. Right‘until he is more attracted to Mallory. False accusations of sexual harassment and theft are a large part of the story. Readers won't want to put this book down until the injustices are resolved. This novel is contemporary, with allusions to the atmosphere following the Rodney King incident and the L.A. riots.‘Ginny Ryder, Lee High School, Springfield, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.