The Toni Morrison Book Club
For book lovers and history buffs, as well as the politically engaged, this collection, though small in size, will yield vast intellectual riches." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Part introspection, part analysis, completely insightful and compelling, The Toni Morrison Book Club is a tribute to Morrison and her voice, illuminating its impact and relevance in our world. Four writers explore four of Morrison’s novels, each writing about two of them. So each novel is examined by two writers. In each essay, Morrison’s novel serves as the foundation or springboard for a discussion of events in the writers’ lives. With deep knowledge of the novels and great analytic skill, the authors move beyond literary analysis to examine life in the United States. Analysis of mothers in Morrison’s novels leads to discussion of motherhood, particularly Black motherhood, in 21st-century United States through the very personal lens of Black mothers. The theme of “other” in Morrison’s novels inspires reflections on growing up gay in a very conservative family.Nancy, Raven Book Store
The richness of Morrison’s texts is made powerfully evident as these four authors weave her themes, her techniques, her wisdom into the fabric of their lives, their stories, and their examination of the realities and culture(s) of our nation. If you love Morrison, you should listen to or read this book. If you want to understand more about race and racism in the United States, you should listen to or read this book. If you enjoy memoir and good, rich writing, you should listen to or read this book. Maybe I am simply saying you should listen to or read this book! Beware - after listening to The Toni Morrison Book Club, I now want to re-read all of Morrison’s works. And I want to hear more from these four writers.”
In this startling group memoir, four friends—black and white, gay and straight, immigrant and American-born—use Toni Morrison’s novels as a springboard for intimate and revealing conversations about the problems of everyday racism and living whole in times of uncertainty. Tackling everything from first love and Soul Train to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the authors take up what it means to read challenging literature collaboratively and to learn in public as an act of individual reckoning and social resistance. Framing their book club around collective secrets, the group bears witness to how Morrison’s works and words can propel us forward while we sit with uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and identity. How do we make space for black vulnerability in the face of white supremacy and internalized self-loathing? How do historical novels speak to us now about the delicate seams that hold black minds and bodies together? This slim and brilliant confessional offers a radical vision for book clubs as sites of self-discovery and communal healing. The Toni Morrison Book Club insists that we find ourselves in fiction and think of Morrison as a spiritual guide to our most difficult thoughts and ideas about American literature and life.
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