“Annie Allen: (1949) A book by Gwendolyn Brooks, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1950. Its three parts fom a connected sequence about a black girl growing to womanhood. ‘Notes from the Childhood and the Girlhood’ includes eleven poems which provide glimpses of Annie’s birth, her practical and didactic mother, and her response to racism, killing, and death. ‘The Anniad,’ a mock heroic poem in forty-three stanzas, and three ‘Appendix’ poems, reveal Annie’s dreams of a gallant lover who goes off to war, returns home, marries her, leaves her, and returns home to die. The fifteen poems of ‘The Womanhood’ show how Annie looks bravely at a world she would like to reform. By the end, her outlook on life has changed from egoistic romanticism into realistic idealism.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.