“In a way, her strangeness, her naiveté, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay, or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings, had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for. And like an artist with no art form, she became dangerous.” – Toni Morrision, Sula
For black writers and lovers of literature alike, Toni Morrison is the messiah, the godmother of black fiction, a figure to be studied, discussed, envied, loved and worshiped.
Morrison’s prose captures the richness of the black American experience in a language that is divine and lyrical. Her stories are dark and dreamy and poetical and political. The themes she explores are unforgettable and uncomfortable. They get under your skin, seep into your consciousness and ooze out of your pores inducing chills of delight – and angst. That’s what a “good read” does. It changes you. Reading Morrison changes you. Her books can be difficult to access but are insanely popular nonetheless. Morrison sycophants boast of rereading her works multiple times. Her quotes inspire scribes to audaciously push forward and stand a bit taller as writers: “I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.” Continue reading »