She might have been old once and now, miraculously, young again—but with the memory of that other life intact. She seemed to know the world down there in the dark hall and beyond for what it was. Yet knowing, she still longed to leave this safe, sunlit place at the top of the house for the challenge there.
Paule Marshall (b. 1929), African American novelist. Brown Girl, Brownstones, ch. 1 (1959).
Ten-year-old Selina Boyce, the heroine of this novel set among West Indian immigrants living in Brooklyn, New York, during the Great Depression and World War II, contemplates life beyond her familiar apartment. Marshall, the daughter of immigrants from Barbados, grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn College.