Paule Marshall (April 9, 1929 – August 12, 2019) was an American writer, best known for her 1959 debut novel Brown Girl, Brownstones. In 1992, at the age of 63, Marshall was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship grant.
Avey Johnson—a black, middle-aged, middle-class widow given to hats, gloves, and pearls—has long since put behind her the Harlem of her childhood. Then on a cruise to the Caribbean with two friends, inspired by a troubling dream, she senses her life beginning to unravel—and in a panic packs her bag in the middle of the night and abandons her friends at the next port of call. The unexpected and beautiful adventure that follows provides Avey with the links to the culture and history she has so long disavowed.