asher63 (asher63) wrote,

Summer Reading: Toni Morrison

I'm a big Toni Morrison fan, and I set myself a goal of reading through all of her novels, in order (11 books to date), by the end of the summer. I'm hoping to post reviews for each book when I'm done. So far I've finished four (The Bluest Eye through Tar Baby) and am starting to re-read #5 (Beloved) now.

TM reads all of her own work, and most of the Audible editions are her own readings. The Audible edition of Tar Baby is read by a voice artist named Desiree Coleman, though.

I discovered Toni Morrison as a young adult and I've read most of her books at least once. 'Song of Solomon' (#3) was the book that put TM on the literary map, and it's the one I keep coming back to. Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family should be able to relate. I like to think of the legend of the Flying African Children as a symbol for the positive things you can take away from your family of origin, however messed-up your home life may have been.

Real life intervened before I could finish 'Paradise' (#7) and I'll be aiming to fix that lacuna this summer. Everything up to 'Jazz' (#6) I'll be re-reading, and the rest - Paradise, Love, A Mercy, Home, and the hot-off-the-press God Help the Child - I'll be reading for the first time.

What I love about Morrison's writing is the richness of it. Her characters are never two-dimensional heroes and villains; they are complicated people, all of whom behave at times nobly and at times despicably. She writes about race and racism, naturally, but her writing is not exclusively defined by race. And her prose is just magical. Every time I read her writing I get something new from it.
Tags: books, toni morrison, voice

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