Posts Tagged: Toni Morrison
Books live in our collective unconscious as well as our individual imaginations. It’s best to air these stories occasionally so that we may examine the myths we hold dearly. Movies may be messy but they can be viewed en masse, which makes them the perfect medium for this analysis.
The rapid rise of “trigger warnings” is starting to impact literature curriculums. For instance, Columbia University students lobbied to include warnings on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a core text in Western Literature syllabi. Columbia refused to include warnings, but essentially capitulated by expunging the text from its curriculum entirely....more
Her name becomes shorthand for a republic of women and black artists with “no home in this place” to borrow a phrase from Morrison’s Nobel lecture, people who create, reclaim and celebrate art that is intent on offering something of use back to the people whom it illuminates.
Toni Morrison was honored at this year’s National Book Critics Circle award ceremony, and Rita Dove’s remarks capture Morrison’s ongoing legacy beautifully. Dove describes her own joy in discovering The Bluest Eye, the first book in the University of Iowa’s library that spoke to a black American experience outside of the deep south or inner city....more
Over at FiveThirtyEight, Amy Rothschild explores the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, and the many strategies advocates are using to make a lasting change in the landscape of children’s literature. While 2014 showed a hopeful bump in books penned by and depicting people of color, institutional challenges will likely make change a slow process; Rothschild cites an overwhelmingly white publishing industry, executives dubious of the market for “niche” books, and strapped budgets of the schools and libraries that once wielded major influence on overall sales....more
At The Millions, Jonathan Russell Clark analyzes several last sentences from well-known novels by Hemingway, Tolstoy, Morrison, and Roth. He pays particular attention to the craftsmanship necessary to write these sentences, and considers how last sentences work to reinforce larger themes within a novel:
For writers, the last sentences aren’t about reader responsibility at all — it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stop worrying about what comes next, because nothing does.
Toni Morrison’s new story, “Sweetness,” offers a glimpse into her upcoming novel God Save the Child. With her signature raw, haunting honesty, Morrison delves into the ways family can simultaneously love and hate, protect and harm:
Oh, yeah, I feel bad sometimes about how I treated Lula Ann when she was little.
Last year Jonathan Safran Foer teamed up with Chipotle to create a line of cups and to-go bags with short stories by Toni Morrison and George Saunders printed on the side. Now the author is at it again, curating a new series of takeout literature that will include writing from Paulo Coelho, Barbara Kingsolver, as well as comedian Aziz Ansari....more
Down at Studio 360, Hilton Als talks to Toni Morrison about writing, habit, and age. It’s not the first interview she’s given this year, but it’s certainly one of her memorable ones....more
In anticipation of this past week’s Hay Festival, fiction luminary Toni Morrison wrote an essay for The Telegraph examining the concept of paradise as it relates to race and class. The novelist locates the promise of this “Utopia for few” in both early black newspapers and the pursuit-of-happiness ethos that drives contemporary American life: unattainable yet easily imagined, at once highly visible and just out of reach....more
Chipotle is getting into the publishing business. Vanity Fair reports that the burrito chain’s cups and bags will feature very short stories from authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and others. Shortly after the announcement, Slate published Cormac McCarthy’s “rejected” story....more
We’re all very excited about the new Beyoncé album (especially the track featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), but there’s another must-hear event for literary types: a Live from the New York Public Library conversation between Junot Díaz and Toni Morrison.
Díaz once said in an interview that “the most sustained love of mine, the one that’s carried me through all these years, is my relationship with Toni Morrison,” and as one of the NYPL’s 2013 Library Lions, he got the chance to speak with her at length onstage....more
It’s commencement speech season, and New York Daily News‘s books blog has a roundup of some of the best graduation advice from literary figures. Like this, from Toni Morrison:
…art takes us and makes us take a journey beyond price, beyond cost, into bearing witness to the world as it is and as it should be.