After learning of the death of Gloria Naylor, who wrote The Women of Brewster Place, several writers took to Twitter including Terry McMillan and Tayari Jones. Naylor, an award-winning author died of a heart attack at age 66 on Sept. 28, according to news reports. Naylor, who grew up in New York, said her 1982 bestseller is a self-described love letter to a determined community of seven African-American women in a decaying housing project.
Of Naylor’s death, Terry McMillan tweeted, “I‘ve been wondering & worrying about Gloria Naylor for years. I idolized her. The power of her work. Heart just cracked hearing she‘s gone. Read everything Gloria Naylor has ever written.” Tayari Jones tweeted, “Gloria Naylor chose my story for the Hurston/Wright Award in 2000, the very start of my career as a writer. Thank you.”
But before her novels were eventually compared to those written by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, Naylor said she took bits and pieces from the diary her mother had given her and used it in her best seller, which started as a writing project at Brooklyn College. Naylor finished Brooklyn College and received a master’s from Yale University in African-American studies.
Naylor’s other books included “Linden Hills,” ‘’Mama Day” and “Bailey’s Cafe.”