Bailey's Cafe

Bailey's Cafe

by Gloria Naylor


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Set in a diner where the food isn't very good and the ambience veers between heaven and hell, this bestselling novel from the author of Mama Day and The Women of Brewster Place is a feast for the senses and the spirit. "A virtuoso orchestration of survival, suffering, courage and humor."--New York Times Book Review.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679748212
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/1993
Series: Vintage Contemporaries Series
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 648,995
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Gloria Naylor was born in New York City in 1950. She received her B.A. in English from Brooklyn College and her M.A. in Afro-American studies from Yale. Her books include The Women of Brewster Place, which won both the American Book Award and the National Book Award for first novel, and was also adapted into a television movie by Oprah Winfrey; Linden Hills; Bailey's Cafe; and The Men of Brewster Place. She taught writing and literature at George Washington University, New York University, Boston University, and Cornell University. She died in 2016.

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Bailey's Cafe 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
PrincessPaulina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
* NO Spoilers were used in the writing of this review! *Each chapter in this off-beat, touching book introduces a flamboyant character at a personal crossroads; Bailey's Cafe is their symbolic purgatory. Though the characters come from different walks of life, there is something dysfunctional or broken about each of them. Most are products of physical, emotional or spiritual abuse, often tinged by racial discrimination.In terms of racial issues, this book depicts how deeply prejudice affected the lives of African Americans post WW2, playing a significant role in their circumstances, decisions and ultimate fates on a variety of levels. In my opinion, Jesse's story was the saddest, illustrating the tragic irony when victims of discrimination turn against each other.Despite covering some heavy material, Naylor imbues each character with a sense of dignity and hope.This book is about survival and overcoming hardships. There are also unexpected humorous touches; the story about Eve helping Jesse kick heroin reads like a hilariously ironic AA parable.Though it can be confusing due to an esoteric theme (i.e. Bailey's Cafe as Purgatory), this is still a satisfying, informative read. I was sincerely rooting for these characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot say enough about this book. The character development, the writing, the imagery. It is an emotional gritty work. I was swept in from the first lines. I read it one sitting. The characters lives, their pasts, their crossroads. You feel what they feel, Tate and smell what they do. This book might not be for everybody, it is definitely not light breezy reading. I do recommend highly that you give this book a read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my second read of Bailey's Cafe. The life stories of the characters can move you to tears. If nothing more it makes you remember that everyone has a story. Bailey's is a place we hope that we don't have to find but if we do we can only hope its a way station and not the last stop. 'Cos like Bailey said, 'there's a Bailey's Cafe in every city'. Ms. Naylor is a master at weaving the mythical and the magical with the real. If you like books that leave you thinking, even after you've finished them, try this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm half way through the book. I love her characters. Gloria's depth of style is awesome...hauntingly weird. I think she must have read Paradise by Toni Morrisen.... reminds me of a greater depth of characters who may have inahbited, (or should have) 'The Convent'
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a host of characters! This book is more like a collection of short stories all brought together in Bailey's Cafe. The themes involve racism, judgement, and religion which are heavy. However, the author puts enough humor in this book to make it a wonderful and sometimes disturbing read. If you don't read it for any other reason, the character of Miss Maple is a roll on the floor laugher!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed 'The Women of Brewster Place', that I just picked this up just because I thought it would be light & interesting. I was moved to tears as I recognized the connections to childhood tramas and how they show up in the adult. This is outstanding - for anyone - gives such incite and understanding. If you are close to any of these experiences, you will cry for what was lost. If this is not your experience, you may finally 'get it' and not be so quick to criticize what you don't understand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have long been a fan of Gloria Naylor, but this is the best one she has ever written. While most of us have not experienced the exact pain of the characters in this novel, we all need a 'Bailey's Cafe'' in our lives at some point
Guest More than 1 year ago
The lives of all the characters are startling. unique, interesting but Miss Maples' is my favorite. The scene where he & his father kicked butt in the back room of a country store wearing tutu's is 'rolling on the floor' hilarious! A very creative way to resolve the gut-wrenching tension of a horrible situation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BAILEY'S CAFE would have been better if the characters and situations had not been described to death! The people that frequently this establishment were interesting enough, but when they are described to the last atom, then it takes away from the book and it becomes lackluster. This was almost like reading a Stephen King novel, except the monster was not in the book, but in READING the book. Not my cup of tea.