Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Favorite Fiction: Toni Morrison
Over the years, Toni Morrison has earned great respect as an author. As the winner of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Pearl Buck Award (just to name a few), Toni Morrison has been a tremendous influence on American literature. Now, at the age of 81, she is publishing her 10th novel, Home, which will be released next week on May 8. In celebration of her many accomplishments and to gear up for the new release, here are Hooked Bookworm's top 5 Toni Morrison novels:
The Bluest Eye
Margaret Garner story, Beloved tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who kills her baby daughter when she and her children face the threat of returning to slavery. The child is referred to as "Beloved," and she haunts Sethe and her family for many years - a constant reminder of her mother's actions. Told through flashbacks and from multiple perspectives, Sethe's story is a harrowing portrayal of slave life and the unconscionable challenges she faced as a mother, a wife, and a woman. Dealing with issues of memory, loss, forgiveness, grief, and motherhood, Beloved is a dark reminder of the agonizing individual and national consequences of human bondage. This storyline was adapted into a libretto by Toni Morrison in 2005, entitled Margaret Garner. It is a powerful and moving piece of musical theatre, but much like the novel, it is also completely devastating and a tragic reenactment of unbelievably real events.
Song of Solomon
There's a reason why at least one of Toni Morrison's books appears on nearly every "must read" list. She is simply an amazing storyteller, and an incredibly poignant writer - even if the themes are sometimes painful or disturbing. If you've never read any of her novels, I would recommend starting with The Bluest Eye. That's the first one I read, and obviously I was hooked. Morrison has also written children's books, essays, plays, and one very famous short story, "Recitatif," and it was recently announced that she will receive the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom.