WHO: Toni Morrison
WHAT: Novelist who has won the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize for fiction, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
WHEN: Born February 18, 1931 (Happy birthday, Toni!)
WHERE: Born in Lorain, Ohio; currently resides in New York
WORK WE HAVE HERE AT LC:
Beloved: "Sethe, an escaped slave who now lives in post-Civil War Ohio, has borne the unthinkable and works hard at "beating back the past." She struggles to keep Beloved, an intruder, from gaining possession of her present while throwing off the legacy of her past."
The Bluest Eye: "An eleven-year-old African-American girl in Ohio, in the early 1940s, prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be beautiful."
Paradise: " Four young women living in a convent near Ruby, Oklahoma, are viciously attacked in 1976 after residents become convinced the women are the source of the problems that have been sweeping the exclusively African-American community."
Song of Solomon: "Follows the life of Macon Dead, Jr., the son of the richest black family in a Midwestern town, as he leaves home on a quest for personal freedom."
Sula: "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."
“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” (from Beloved)
“You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.” (Song of Solomon)
“How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it.” (Paradise)