cover image You May Plow Here: The Narrative of Sara Brooks

You May Plow Here: The Narrative of Sara Brooks

Sara Brooks. W. W. Norton & Company, $12.95 (222pp) ISBN 978-0-393-02257-5

This is a profoundly poignant yet triumphant book, a re-creation by an Alabama-born black of her struggle against racism and poverty while striving for the common dream of Americans: now in her mid-70s, Brooks lives in her own home, in Cleveland. Simonsen was a child of four when Brooks, then 36, went to work for his parents in their Cleveland household, and now he has edited her marvelously earthy ""narrative'' as a tribute. Brooks's rich recall of her childhood farm-life, her unhappy marriage and divorce from a ``no good'' cousin, her children (including two born out of wedlock), her jobs in factories and in white-folks' homes show her independence and spirit. Her memoir is the stuff of human pride made memorable in raw, homely vernacular. January 27