a tree grows in brooklyn

Women’s History Month: North Brooklyn’s Great Feminist Classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Author Betty Smith in front of the tree that is the symbol of her novel.

Great literature never grows old or feels dated, and no local novel feels more current to local women than Betty Smith’s enduring 1943 classic A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which describes the coming of age of the protagonist Francie Nolan in the era before World War I in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The novel sold millions of copies and was made into a hit 1945 film, directed by Elia Kazan, starring James Dunn and Peggy Ann Garner, who won a Special Academy Award for Outstanding Child Actress of 1945. Continue reading

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Reading List: 8 Books Set in North Brooklyn

If you’re looking for some new reads this year, why not start with a novel that centralizes around Greenpoint? Or Williamsburg. Bushwick, even! These eight novels focus on the lens of human experience while living in Brooklyn.
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Books & Drinks: What to Read in Greenpoint’s Local Hangouts

© Bella Harris

One of my favorite things about Greenpoint is its neighborhood vibe. I can walk around and find myself in any cafe or bar and feel at ease. There’s so many great places to explore, drinks to drink, and marvelous books the read — so why not a few recommendations? Read on to find out the favorite drinks and libations in our editors’s favorite spots. Continue reading

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Summer Reading: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Have you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith? It’s one of those classics that you think everyone has read. I picked up a copy in a free book pile (score!) on Norman Ave and got instantly hooked. After asking around, ALOT of people haven’t read it, either!

If you haven’t read it – YOU SHOULD! Especially if you live in Greenpoint or Williamsburg because the entire story takes place here at the turn of last century and the descriptions of the area, with references to places like Cheap Charlies (perhaps at a different location with surely a different sign) are unbelievable!

It’s a great summer read in that I have been reading it all summer, but that’s what makes it great, nothing really happens, but everything happens to Francie the main character who grows up poor in Brooklyn and aspires to become a writer. After putting it down for a bit, you can just pick it right back up and begin where you left off, like having coffee with an old friend.

You can buy it now from Word, Greenpoint’s best bookstore!

Got any great reading recommendations?

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