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  1. Toni Morrison on the Necessity of Literature by Valerie Schloredt — YES! Magazine
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  3. “Beloved” US Pulitzer Prize writer Toni Morrison has died, aged 88

Toni Morrison February 18, —August 5, examines the function of art and literature as humanizing forces of survival throughout The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations public library — the nonfiction collection that gave us her wisdom on wisdom in the age of information. Writers — journalists, essayists, bloggers, poets, playwrights — can disturb the social oppression that functions like a coma on the population, a coma despots call peace, and they stanch the blood flow of war that hawks and profiteers thrill to.

Certain kinds of trauma visited on peoples are so deep, so cruel, that unlike money, unlike vengeance, even unlike justice, or rights, or the goodwill of others, only writers can translate such trauma and turn sorrow into meaning, sharpening the moral imagination.

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Writers are among the most sensitive, most intellectually anarchic, most representative, most probing of artists. The languages she or he uses imagistic, structural, narrative and the social and historical context in which these languages signify are indirect and direct revelations of that power and its limitations.

Toni Morrison on the Necessity of Literature by Valerie Schloredt — YES! Magazine

A quarter century later, in an award acceptance speech delivered at Vanderbilt University in the spring of , also included in the book, Morrison considers her core credo as a writer and the central function of art in human life:. Art invites us to take the journey beyond price, beyond costs into bearing witness to the world as it is and as it should be.

Remembering Icon Toni Morrison

Art invites us to know beauty and to solicit it from even the most tragic of circumstances. Art reminds us that we belong here. And if we serve, we last. My faith in art rivals my admiration for any other discourse.

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She is one of the few writers who has reduced him to tears, he says; then corrects himself. I like stories about how people come to her books, and McGirr has a good one.


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He found a remaindered copy of Beloved in a general store in regional Queensland in , among the out-of-date calendars and diaries. He had no idea what he was buying.

“Beloved” US Pulitzer Prize writer Toni Morrison has died, aged 88

I imagine the store had no idea what it was selling. We tend to think of Morrison sitting up on the Great Writer pedestal, making magisterial quotes, but for most of her life it wasn't like that at all. Toni Morrison with her novel Beloved in As a single mother of two boys, she began her career with books editing in a publishing house.

At some point she decided to write books of her own. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye , took five years to write. It tells the imagined story of a girl in Morrison's class at school who thought God did not exist because she had prayed to him for blue eyes, and her prayer was not answered.

The novel pecks away at the gaze that condemned that girl, Morrison has said. There is a devastating beginning: "Quiet as it's kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of We thought, at the time, that it was because Pecola was having her father's baby that the marigolds did not grow.


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Morrison had a special sympathy for those who turn the destruction of their society in on themselves, and nowhere more than in her novel Beloved , based on a story of an escaped slave who killed her own child so it would not grow up in captivity.