As one of the post-modern era’s most inspired crafters of prose and story, Toni Morrison was a literary marvel who will continue to influence readers and authors for generations to come. With powerful lyricism and profound insight about the ills of racism and sexism, her written words resounded as a clarion call for greater humanity towards those pushed to the margins by society. She sang through her pen a beautiful song the world can ill-afford to forget, about subjects that simply cannot be overlooked, for people who have too long been left unsung. She was a voice that was needed, a mind that enlightened the world for others, and a writer whose work exemplified the power and purpose of narrative. In her own indelible words: “She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”
She will certainly be missed.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
An intense and haunting work, Beloved was the novel that won Toni Morrison the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Within its rhythmic prose, Morrison tells the story of escaped slave, Sethe, and her daughter, Denver, as they confront the specter of Sethe’s tormented past and try to find a way to move forward from its grip. Unforgiving in its rawness and tragedy, the novel delves fearlessly into the truest consequences of slavery, exposing a loss beyond even a life lived in chains. An evocative and emotional exploration, Beloved stands to be remembered as one the greatest novels of the last century and is a must-read in every sense of the term.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Song of Solomon begins with one of the most arresting scenes in our century's literature: a dreamlike tableau depicting a man poised on a roof, about to fly into the air, while cloth rose petals swirl above the snow-covered ground and, in the astonished crowd below, one woman sings as another enters premature labor. The child born of that labor, Macon (Milkman) Dead, will eventually come to discover, through his complicated progress to maturity, the meaning of the drama that marked his birth. Toni Morrison's novel is at once a romance of self-discovery, a retelling of the black experience in America that uncovers the inalienable poetry of that experience, and a family saga luminous in its depth, imaginative generosity, and universality. It is also a tribute to the ways in which, in the hands of a master, the ancient art of storytelling can be used to make the mysterious and invisible aspects of human life apparent, real, and firm to the touch.
Sula by Toni Morrison
Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal--or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.
Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
On a tropical island paradise, six people interact with each other in all the tender or hateful ways that human beings are capable of. Rich and poor, black and white, young and old, male and female, each has something to teach the others--and each has something to learn. Their acts of cruelty and love shine a light on all of the choices facing women and men in a black-and-white world. Tar Baby is an unforgettable experience from one of the 20th century's most outstanding literary voices.
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child--the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment--weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride's mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget." A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.
Home by Toni Morrison
Frank Money is an angry, self-loathing veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. His home may seem alien to him, but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war that have left him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he had thought he could never possess again. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood--and his home.
Love by Toni Morrison
May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida--even L: all women obsessed with Bill Cosey. The wealthy owner of the famous Cosey’s Hotel and Resort, he shapes their yearnings for father, husband, lover, guardian, and friend--yearnings that dominate the lives of these women long after his death. Yet while he is either the void in, or the center of, their stories, he himself is driven by secret forces--a troubled past and a spellbinding woman named Celestial. This audacious exploration into the nature of love--its appetite, its sublime possession, its dread--is rich in characters, striking scenes, and a profound understanding of how alive the past can be. A major addition to the canon of one of the world’s literary masters.
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