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Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl in an America whose love for blonde, blue-eyed children can devastate all others, prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different. The story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, the tragic heroine of Toni Morrison's haunting first novel, grew out of her memory of a girlhood friend who wanted blue eyes. Shunned by the town's prosperous black families, as well as its white families, Pecola lives with her alcoholic father and embittered, overworked mother in a shabby two-room storefront that reeks of the hopeless destitution that overwhelms their lives. In awe of her clean well-groomed schoolmates, and certain of her own intense ugliness, Pecola tries to make herself disappear as she wishes fervently, desperately for the blue eyes of a white girl. [This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 11-12 at http://www.corestandards.org.]
Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, Burn This Book is a powerful collection of essays that explore the meaning of censorship and the power of literature to inform the way we see the world, and ourselves.
On the occasion of her acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters on the sixth of November, 1996, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison speaks with brevity and passion to the pleasures, the difficulties, the necessities, of the reading/writing life in our time.
The latest novel from Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. His home--and himself in it--may no longer be as he remembers it, but Frank 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, which he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood--and his home.This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
It is winter, barely three days into 1926, seven years after Armistice; we are in the scintillating City, around Lenox Avenue, "when all the wars are over and there will never be another one . . . At last, at last, everything's ahead. . . Here comes the new. Look out. There goes the sad stuff. The bad stuff. The things nobody-could-help stuff. " But amid the euphoric decisiveness, a tragedy ensues among people who had train-danced into the City, from points south and west, in search of a promise. Joe Trace, door -to-door salesman, erstwhile devoted husband, shoots to death his lover of three months, the impetuous, eighteen year old Dorcas. At the funeral his determined, hard-working wife Violet tries to disfigure the corpse with a knife. In a dazzling act of jazz-like improvisation, moving seamlessly in and out of past, present and future, a mysterious voice weaves this brilliant fiction, at the same time showing how its blues are informed by the brutal exigencies of slavery. Richly combining history, legend and reminiscence, this voice captures as never before the ineffable mood, the complex humanity of black urban life at a moment in our century we assumed we understood. . Jazz is an unprecedented and astonishing invention, a landmark on the American literary landscape - a novel unforgettable and for all time.
Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison's spellbinding new novel is a Faulknerian symphony of passion and hatred, power and perversity, color and class that spans three generations of black women in a fading beach town. In life, Bill Cosey enjoyed the affections of many women, who would do almost anything to gain his favor. In death his hold on them may be even stronger. Wife, daughter, granddaughter, employee, mistress: As Morrison's protagonists stake their furious claim on Cosey's memory and estate, using everything from intrigue to outright violence, she creates a work that is shrewd, funny, erotic, and heartwrenching.
An intense family drama of love and betrayal. Bill Cosey's choice of a second wife sets off a tidal wave of repercussions which still resound fifty years later.
In the late 1600s America, a woman sells her daughter Florens to a Dutch trader, hoping he will be a kinder master than her own. Acts of mercy may have unforeseen consequences. This is Florens's story.
Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, reads the speech she delivered in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.
Toni Morrison's Paradise takes place in the tiny farming community of Ruby, Oklahoma, which its residents proudly proclaim "the one all-black town worth the pain." Settled by nine African American clans during the 1940s, the town represents a small miracle of self-reliance and community spirit. Readers might be forgiven, in fact, for assuming that Morrison's title refers to Ruby itself, which even during the 1970s retains an atmosphere of neighborliness and small-town virtue. Yet Paradises are not so easily gained. As we soon discover, Ruby is fissured by ancestral feuds and financial squabbles, not to mention the political ferment of the era, which has managed to pierce the town's pious isolation. In the view of its leading citizens, these troubles call for a scapegoat. And one readily exists: the Convent, an abandoned mansion not far from town--or, more precisely, the four women who occupy it, and whose unattached and unconventional status makes them the perfect targets for patriarchal ire. ("Before those heifers came to town," the men complain, "this was a peaceable kingdom.") One July morning, then, an armed posse sets out from Ruby for a round of ethical cleansing. (Amazon.com review)
Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. These unforgettable images serve as the inspiration for Ms. Morrison's text, a fictional account of the dialogue and emotions of the children who lived during the era of separate but equal schooling. Remember is a unique pictorial and narrative journey that introduces children to a watershed period in American history and its relevance to us today. Remember will be published on the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision ending legal school segregation, handed down on May 17, 1954.
Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, a novel of large beauty and power, creates a magical world out of four generations of black life in America, a world we enter on the day of the birth of Macon Dead, Jr. known as Milkman), son of the richest black family in a mid-western town; the day on which the lonely insurance man, Robert Smith, poised in blue silk wings, attempts to fly from a steeple of the hospital, a black Icarus looking homeward. We see Milkman growing up in his father's money-haunted, death-haunted house with his silent sisters and strangely passive mother, beginning to move outward--through his profound love and combat with his friend Guitar... through Guitar's mad and loving commitment to the secret avengers called the Seven Days... through Milkman's exotic, imprisoning affair with his love-blind cousin, Hagar... and through his unconscious apprenticeship to his mystical Aunt Pilate, who saved his life before he was born. And we follow him as he strikes out alone; moving first toward adventure and then--as the unspoken truth about his family and his own buried heritage announces itself--toward an adventurous and crucial embrace of life. This is a novel that expresses, with passion, tenderness, and a magnificence of language, the mysterious primal essence of family bond and conflict, the feelings and experience of all people wanting, and striving, to be alive.
In clear, dark, resonant language, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison brilliantly evokes not only a bond between two lives, but the harsh, loveless, ultimately mad world in which that bond is destroyed, the world of the Bottom and its people.
The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby,audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones--of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds. It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inquiry, revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women, white men and women, and black and white people. The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance. It is the black servant couple, who have been with the Streets for years--the fastidious butler, Sydney, and his strong yet remote wife--who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bursts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife. And there is a visitor among them--a beautiful young black woman, Jadine, who is not only the servant's dazzling niece, but the protegée and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine, who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian's expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion, film and art. Through a season of untroubled ease, the lives of these five move with a ritualized grace until, one night, a ragged, starving black American street man breaks into the house. And, in a single moment, with Valerian's perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them and eat, everything changes. Valerian moves toward a larger abdication. Margaret's delicate and enduring deception is shattered. The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions. And Jadine, who at first is repelled by the intruder, finds herself moving inexorably toward him--he calls himself Son; he is a kind of black man she has dreaded since childhood; uneducated, violent, contemptuous of her privilege. As Jadine and Son come together in the loving collision they have both welcomed and feared, the novel moves outward--to the Florida backwater town Son was raised in, fled from, yet cherishes; tohersleek New York; then back to the island people and their protective and entangling legends. As the lovers strive to hold and understand each other, as they experience the awful weight of the separate worlds that have formed them--she perceiving his vision of reality and of love as inimical to her freedom, he perceiving her as the classic lure, the tar baby set out to entrap him--all the mysterious elements, all the highly charged threads of the story converge. Everything that is at risk is made clear: how the conflicts and dramas wrought by social and cultural circumstances must ultimately be played out in the realm of the heart. Once again, Toni Morrison has given us a novel of daring, fascination, and power.
El cuerpo de un amigo destrozado por la metralla, la voz de un hombre que pide clemencia, la mano de una niña que asoma escarbando entre la basura para encontrar algo de comer...Hay imágenes que vuelven una y otra vez a la mente de Frank Money, un veterano de la guerra de Corea que ahora vuelve a Estados Unidos en busca de olvido y afecto.Corren los años cincuenta del siglo pasado y las heridas de Frank no son solo físicas: su patria es racista, su familia ha acumulado mucho odio, y el regreso parece más un camino hacia el infierno que una vuelta al hogar. Su destino es Georgia porque Frank quiere rescatar y devolver a casa a su hermana Cee, casada con un chulo que la abandonó a los pocos días de la boda, y empleada en casa de un médico sin escrúpulos.Es la determinación por salvar a esa mujer frágil lo que llevará a Frank a asumir sus culpas y saldar cuentas con lo que fue su vida. Ahí, en ese ir y venir de emociones hondas , brilla el talento de Toni Morrison, una mujer que lleva el dolor en la punta de los dedos y lo gobierna con pocas y buenas palabras.«A mis ochenta y un años, me siento atenta, vital, yo diría que espléndida... cuando escribo.»Toni Morrison
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