Betty Smith’s first novel is an American classic – and an immediate bestseller when it was published in 1943. Smith drew from her own experience growing up in Brooklyn at the turn of the twentieth century to create the character of Francie Nolan. It’s the coming-of-age story of a young girl learning to persevere – like the tree of the book’s title – and overcome the hardships of poverty. One of the first plainly-written novels about the lives of ordinary working-class Americans, it’s beloved as a story of what it means to be human. A Readers’ Review of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Guests

  • Olivia Golden Institute fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. and former assistant secretary for children and families, Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration
  • Neely Tucker staff writer for The Washington Post magazine; author, "Love in the Driest Season," a memoir of adopting a baby in Zimbabwe.
  • Deirdre Donahue book critic for "USA Today"

Related Links

Topics + Tags

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Most Recent Shows

Barry Meier: “Missing Man”

Tuesday, May 24 2016Nine years ago, former FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared in Iran while on a mission for the CIA. The story of his secret journey to Iran, the CIA cover-up that followed and efforts to rescue the longest-held U.S. hostage.

The U.S. Expands Ties To Vietnam

Tuesday, May 24 2016President Barack Obama lifts the embargo against U.S. arms sales to Vietnam. We discuss what closer ties between the U.S. and Vietnam mean for trade, leverage on human rights and growing concerns over China's military expansion.