Toni Morrison

Recitatif by Toni Morrison audiobook review – an experiment in racial bias

In her introduction to Toni Morrison’s short story, Zadie Smith offers insight into the Nobel prize-winning author’s intentions. Recitatif, Smith explains, was planned by Morrison as “an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial”. In telling the tale of Twyla and Roberta, who meet as eight-year-old roommates in an orphanage, Morrison never reveals which girl is Black and which is white, an omission that forces us to confront our racial biases. “When [Morrison] called Recitatif an experiment, she meant it,” Smith says. “The subject of the experiment is the reader.”
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Where to start with: Toni Morrison

Nobel prizewinner Toni Morrison was arguably the greatest American writer of her time, leaving behind an impressive body of boundary-pushing work when she died, aged 88, three summers ago. Maybe her novels have long been sitting on your “to read” pile, or perhaps you’re a lifelong fan who wants to revisit your favourites. Either way, writer Bernice McFadden, whose novel The Warmest December was praised by Morrison herself, can guide you through this brilliant writer’s work.
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Washington City Paper

William Shakespeare and Toni Morrison Share a Stage in OTHELLO/DESDEMONA

OTHELLO/DESDEMONA, the latest INSeries production, is the result of something resembling a game of telephone. It began in 1565, when Italian writer Cinthio penned the short story “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”). Around 1603, William Shakespeare interpreted that story into The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice. Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi came along in 1887 with Otello, his operatic interpretation of Shakespeare’s play. Then in 2011, the late novelist Toni Morrison decided to put her own twist on the tragedy with Desdemona, a response to Shakespeare’s story that takes place in the afterlives of Othello’s protagonists.

Toni Morrison Breaks Down White Supremacy

“If you can only be tall because somebody’s on their knees then you have a serious problem and my feeling is white people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they can do about it, but take me out of it…”. In...
Literary Hub

A Brutal—and True—Piece of Writing Advice from Toni Morrison

The very first time I saw Toni Morrison in person was at an event in Boston, at a church, along with hundreds of people. The Beloved tour. I attended as a reader, as a Morrison fan. I’d had plenty of reader-only experience with books, but I knew next to nothing formal about writing then. Reading as a writer is a higher calling, and a whole different world. I had no writing tools at the time, though I did have some facility; I loved words—but the tools you need to write stack up and can be complicated. I could identify and define imagination, but I did not know the concepts of setting or drama or scene. I knew that language was critical, but how few words I knew then! I was hungry, eager, reaching—but I was ignorant of exactly what writers needed to know and do.

Toni Morrison novel Sula is being adapted as an HBO limited series

The late Pulitzer Prize winner's second novel, 1973's Sula, will be adapted as a TV series from writer Shannon M. Houston and executive producer Stephanie Allain. According to Deadline, "Sula tracks the lives of two Black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio neighborhood called The Bottom, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood."