Toni Morrison, who died recently, rose to international fame with her fifth novel, Beloved, a fame that was sealed by the award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Her uncompromising depiction of the lives of black Americans and her outspoken political views made her one of America’s most important public intellectuals. She will be deeply missed.
The chronicle of the tragic lives of a poor black family in 1940s America. Every night Pecola, unlovely and unloved, prays for blue eyes like those of her white schoolfellows. She becomes the focus of the mingled love and hatred engendered by her family's frailty and the world's cruelty.
Four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near an all-black town in America in the mid-1970s. Spanning the birth of the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, the counter-culture and politics of the late 1970s, deftly manipulating past, present and future, this novel reveals the interior lives of the citizens of the town with clarity.
BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVEDInto a white millionaire's Caribbean mansion comes Jadine, a sophisticated graduate of the Sorbonne, art historian - a black American now living in Paris and Rome. Then there's Son, a criminal on the run, uneducated, violent, contemptuous - a young American black of extreme beauty from small-town Florida.
On the day that Jacob agrees to accept a slave in lieu of payment of a debt from a plantation owner, little Florens' life changes. With her intelligence and passion for wearing the cast-off shoes of her mistress Florens has never blended into the background and now at the age of eight she is taken from her family to begin a new life.
Sweetness wants to love her child, Bride, but she struggles to love her as a mother should. Bride, now glamorous, grown up, ebony-black and panther-like, wants to love her man, Booker, but she finds herself betrayed by a moment in her past, a moment borne of a desperate burn for the love of her mother.
This is the story of Macon "Milkman" Dead, heir to the richest black family in a Midwestern town, as he makes a voyage of rediscovery, travelling southwards geographically and inwards spiritually. Through the enlightenment of one man, the novel recapitulates the history of slavery and liberation.
It is 1926 and winter grips Harlem. Joe Trace shoots to death his lover, the impetuous 18-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral his determined, hardworking wife Violet tries to disfigure the corpse with a knife. Their story captures the complex humanity of black American urban life at that time.
Throughout A Mouth Full of Blood our search for truth, moral integrity and expertise is met by Toni Morrison with controlled anger, elegance and literary excellence. Morrison's Nobel lecture, on the power of language, is accompanied by lectures to Amnesty International and the Newspaper Association of America.
A novel set in a small town in Ohio, focusing on two girls, Nell and Sula, both black, both poor, who share their dreams until Sula escapes to live a vagrant city life for ten years. When she returns, the bond of their friendship is broken.