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Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and Love. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction.
Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
It begins with a letter from a woman Frank has never met. A pleading letter. A letter that closed his throat. 'Come fast. She be dead if you tarry.' And that is it all it takes.
July 2013 Guest Editor Cath Staincliffe on Beloved... Probably the most powerful book I’ve ever read. Morrison gives us a searing indictment of slavery and racism in a beautifully written and harrowing story about a woman and her children haunted by a child ghost in the aftermath of the American civil war. This was one of those novels that made me desperate to try to write myself. A 2011 World Book Night selection. Our Editorial Guru, Sarah Broadhurst, has suggested others book and authors that would be perfect for you to read next or to pass on the recommendation - so your gift will keep on giving enjoyment. Her selection for this title is: Alice Walker. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller. She was a magician with language, who understood the power of words. - Oprah Winfrey A vital non-fiction collection from one of the most celebrated and revered American writers Spanning four decades, these essays, speeches and meditations interrogate the world around us. They are concerned with race, gender and globalisation. The sweep of American history and the current state of politics. The duty of the press and the role of the artist. Throughout Mouth Full of Blood our search for truth, moral integrity and expertise is met by Toni Morrison with controlled anger, elegance and literary excellence. The collection is structured in three parts and these are heart-stoppingly introduced by a prayer for the dead of 9/11, a meditation on Martin Luther King and a eulogy for James Baldwin. Morrison's Nobel lecture, on the power of language, is accompanied by lectures to Amnesty International and the Newspaper Association of America. She speaks to graduating students and visitors to both the Louvre and America's Black Holocaust Museum. She revisitsThe Bluest Eye, Sula and Beloved; reassessing the novels that have become touchstones for generations of readers. Mouth Full of Blood is a powerful, erudite and essential gathering of ideas that speaks to us all. It celebrates Morrison's extraordinary contribution to the literary world.
'Toni Morrison was a giant of her times and ours... Beloved is a heart-breaking testimony to the ongoing ravages of slavery, and should be read by all' Margaret Atwood, New York Times Discover this beautiful gift edition of Toni Morrison's prize-winning contemporary classic Beloved It is the mid-1800s and as slavery looks to be coming to an end, Sethe is haunted by the violent trauma it wrought on her former enslaved life at Sweet Home, Kentucky. Her dead baby daughter, whose tombstone bears the single word, Beloved, returns as a spectre to punish her mother, but also to elicit her love. Told with heart-stopping clarity, melding horror and beauty, Beloved is Toni Morrison's enduring masterpiece. WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ZADIE SMITH AND FEATURING SPECIAL ARCHIVAL MATERIAL 'An American masterpiece' A.S. Byatt 'I adored her honesty. I admired the way she occupied her space in the world. I believed her' Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie **One of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World**
What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters' greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by the more easily defined evil, goodness often escapes our attention. Recalling many literary examples, from Ahab to Coetzee's Michael K, Morrison seeks the essence of goodness and ponders its significant place in her writing. She considers the concept in relation to unforgettable characters from her own works of fiction and arrives at conclusions that are both eloquent and edifying. In a lively interview conducted for this book, Morrison further elaborates on her lecture's ideas, discussing goodness not only in literature but in society and history-particularly black history, which has responded to centuries of brutality with profound creativity. Morrison's essay is followed by a Series of responses by scholars in the fields of religion, ethics, history, and literature to her thoughts on goodness and evil, mercy and love, racism and self-destruction, Language and liberation, together with close examination of literary and theoretical expressions from her works. Each of these contributions, written by a scholar of religion, considers the legacy of slavery and how it continues to shape our memories, our complicities, our outcries, our lives, our communities, our literature, and our faith. In addition, the Contributors engage the religious orientation in Morrison's novels so that readers who encounter her many memorable characters such as Sula, Beloved, or Frank Money will learn and appreciate how Morrison's notions of goodness and mercy also reflect her understanding of the sacred and the human spirit.
Die amerikanische Literaturnobelpreis-Tragerin Toni Morrison hat ihr Leben als Schriftstellerin der Rassenfrage und dem Rassismus gewidmet. Nun meldet sie sich mit klugen, schneidend klaren Worten zum Thema Rassismus in Amerika. Die sechs hier abgedruckten Texte basieren auf Vorlesungen an der Harvard University im Sommer 2016. Es sind Betrachtungen ber Rasse und Rassismus, die die Zerrissenheit der amerikanischen Gesellschaft widerspiegeln und durch die Wahl eines das Land spaltenden Prsidenten sowie den zunehmenden, unverbrmten Alltagsrassismus eine brennende Aktualitt bekommen. Wie und wann entsteht das Konzept des Andersseins? Angeboren ist es ja nicht. Toni Morrison beantwortet diese Frage mit persnlichen Erinnerungen aus ihrer Kindheit, erzhlt von eigenen Familien- und Berufserfahrungen und spricht ber reale Flle, die sie zu ihren Romanen inspiriert haben. Zudem macht sich Toni Morrison Gedanken zur Geschichte und Funktion von Literatur in einer latent rassistischen Gesellschaft. Sie leitet den literarischen Rassismus aus der Romantisierung des Sklaventums her und belegt mit Beispielen von Faulkner bis Hemingway die stndige Angst vor den schwarzen Gesichtern. Dabei schlgt sie einen weltpolitischen Bogen, von der individuellen Herkunft bis hin zur Globalisierung, zu Grenzen und Fluchtbewegungen. Eine groe Autorin erhebt ihre Stimme. Ein brisantes Buch, das Mut macht und Hoffnung gibt.
Rumors had been whispered for more than a year. Outrages that had been accumulating all along took shape as evidence. A mother was knocked down the stairs by her cold-eyed daughter. Four damaged infants were born in one family. Daughters refused to get out of bed. Brides disappeared on their honeymoons. Two brothers shot each other on New Year's Day. Trips to Demby for VD shots common. And what went on at the Oven these days was not to be believed . . . The proof they had been collecting since the terrible discovery in the spring could not be denied: the one thing that connected all these catastrophes was in the Convent. And in the Convent were those women.In Paradise--her first novel since she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature--Toni Morrison gives us a bravura performance. As the book begins deep in Oklahoma early one morning in 1976, nine men from Ruby (pop. 360), in defense of the one all-black town worth the pain, assault the nearby Convent and the women in it. From the town's ancestral origins in 1890 to the fateful day of the assault, Paradise tells the story of a people ever mindful of the relationship between their spectacular history and a void Out There . . . where random and organized evil erupted when and where it chose. Richly imagined and elegantly composed, Paradise weaves a powerful mystery.
America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others. In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books-Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy. If we learn racism by example, then literature plays an important part in the history of race in America, both negatively and positively. Morrison writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative. Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel Garca Mrquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his familys origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.
An exploration of race from one of the twentieth century's primary chroniclers of the African American experience. Is who we are really only skin deep? In this searing, remonstrative book, Toni Morrison unravels race through the stories of those debased and dehumanised because of it. A young black girl longing for the blue eyes of white baby dolls spirals into inferiority and confusion. A friendship falls apart over a disputed memory. An ex-slave is haunted by a lonely, rebukeful ghost, bent on bringing their past home. Strange and unexpected, yet always stirring, Morrison's writing on race sinks us deep into the heart and mind of our troubled humanity. Includes selections from the books Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Beloved by Toni Morrison 'She gave me permission to be unapologetically Black. She informed me of the power that resided in me. She validated me when the world questioned my humanity' Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world's greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis series: Sisters by Louisa May Alcott Love by Jeanette Winterson Babies by Anne Enright Language by Xiaolu Guo
A library card unlocks a new life for a young girl in this picture book about the power of imagination, from Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. On one gray afternoon, Louise makes a trip to the library. With the help of a new library card and through the transformative power of books, what started out as a dull day turns into one of surprises, ideas, and imagination! Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's experience working in a library as a young girl, this engaging picture book celebrates the wonders of reading, the enchanting capacity of the imagination, and, of course, the splendor of libraries.
Spare and unsparing, God Help the Childthe first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current momentweaves 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.
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joes wife, Violet, attacks the girls corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.
As Americans we often take our freedom of speech for granted. When we talk about censorship we talk about China, the former Soviet Union. But the recent presidential election has shined a spotlight on profound acts of censorship in our own backyard. Both provocative and timely, Burn this Book includes a sterling list of award-winning writers; it is sure to ignite spirited dialogue. In Witness: The Inward Testimony , Nadine Gordimer discusses the role of the writer as observer, and as someone who sees what is really taking place. She looks to Proust, Oe, Flaubert, Graham Green to see how their philosophy squares with her own, ultimately concluding Literature has been and remains a means of people rediscovering themselves. In Freedom to Write , Orham Pamuk elegantly describes escorting Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter around Turkey and how that experience changed his life. In The Value of the Word Salman Rushdie shares a story from Bugakov's novel The Master and the Margarita , in which the Devil talks to a frustrated writer called The Master. The writer is so upset with his own work he decides to burn it: How could you do that? The devil asks. Manuscripts do not burn. Indeed, manuscripts do not burn, Rushdie argues, but writers do.
The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traore, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Morrison's response to Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Morrison gives voice and depth to the female characters, letting them speak and sing in the fullness of their hearts. Desdemona is an extraordinary narrative of words, music and song about Shakespeares doomed heroine, who speaks from the grave about the traumas of race, class, gender, war and the transformative power of love. Toni Morrison transports one of the most iconic, central, and disturbing treatments of race in Western culture into the new realities and potential outcomes facing a rising generation of the 21st century.
America's most celebrated novelist, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth-century tale of redemption: a taut and tortured story about one man's desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war.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 manhoodand his home.