Posts Tagged ‘Toni Morrison’

26th July
2010
written by Steph

A few weeks (months?) ago, I had the good fortune to be asked to join Claire from Kiss A Cloud, Claire from Paperback Reader, and Nymeth from Things Mean A Lot in a little group read-along of Love by Toni Morrison. I was thrilled for the opportunity because Toni Morrison is an author whom I feel I can always stand to read more of, but rarely feel confident enough to do so on my own prodding. Still, I’ve dutifully gone out and procured as many copies of her various books that I can find (my only requirement being that they are not horrifically ugly, because there are some less than covet-worthy editions of her books floating about out there) during my frequent bookstore visits. I then proceed to stockpile these books, happy in the knowledge that I have more Toni Morrison ahead of me. But of course, books are meant to be read, and it’s always good when others remind me of this, so this was the push I needed to get back on the Morrison love train (no pun intended, as I didn’t capitalize the “L” in “love”). I’m not sure that if given my own druthers that Love would have been the next Morrison I would have attempted, simply because I still haven’t read Beloved, which is Morrison’s masterpiece and I know I need to read it. So I always say it will be my next read, and then, well, as you can see, it isn’t! That said, I’m really glad that I did read Love because it was a really interesting and compelling novel, and it certainly broadened my notion of who Toni Morrison is as an author in several ways. (more…)
31st March
2009
written by Steph
Have mercy on yourself and read this one!

Have mercy on yourself and read this one!

After quite the hiatus (in part due to self-imposed restrictions, but largely influenced by long waiting lists at the public library), I return to reading contenders in this year’s Tournament of Books.  In a way, my reading of A Mercy couldn’t have come at a better time, as today it was named champion in the 2009 Tournament of Books. Reviews of A Mercy have been largely positive, but it has not gone unscathed.  Some have criticized it as being “Toni Morrison lite”, perhaps a function of its relatively small heft (weighing in at a scant 167 pages), but it may also have something to do with the format of the novel as well.  A Mercy is a series of chapter-long character sketches that alternate with a stream-of-consciousness style narrative from the ostensible lead character, Florens (I call her the lead, simply because she is devoted multiple chapters, whereas all other individuals in the novel only get a solitary chapter to each tell their tales).  The story takes place in the late 1600s/early 1700s in the South East (Virginia and Marlyand), revolving around a Dutch farmer, his wife, and the three slaves they keep (Florens, Sorrow, and Lina), but also features a good deal of flashback and retrospective narrative as well.  Through each character’s story, we are given the opportunity to reflect on the shackles of slavery, the various ways one can become a slave, as well as what it means to be free. (more…)