Literary Passings: Toni Morrison (Beloved)

Our Toni Morrison holdings here.

From this obituary:

Toni Morrison, who has died aged 88, was the only African American writer and one of the few women to have received the Nobel prize for literature. The announcement of her 1993 award cited her as a writer “who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality”. In her acceptance speech Morrison emphasized the importance of language “partly as a system, partly as a living thing over which one has control, but mostly as an agency – as an act with consequences.”

She expressed her own credo, and indicated the core preoccupations of her fiction, in the fable at the heart of her speech, where she imagines young people telling an old black woman: “Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created … For our sakes and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light … Tell us what it is to be a woman so that we may know what it is to be a man. What moves at the margin. What it is to have no home in this place. To be set adrift from the one you knew. What it is to live at the edge of towns that cannot bear your company.”

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