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Black studies


Toni Morrison.
Publisher Knopf  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9780307594167
Pages/Publication Date 147/2012
Daedalus Item Code 29274
This item is not available.
(One of the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2012) Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison offers this bittersweet novella, a poetically lean, fast-moving distillation of mid-20th-century America through the life of a black veteran coming home from the Korean War. Frank Money returns, angry and broken, to wander a racist and alien homeland, until he is shaken out of his apathy by the plight of his abused sister. He determines that the only course is to take her back to the Georgia town where they were raised, and that he's hated all his life, to try to find a semblance of home.

"Within its pared-down limits, [Home] tells a compelling story, and the man at the center, Frank Money, is such a strong and convincing character that we are not taken aback when Frank himself, speaking in italics, interrupts the narrative a couple of times to set the author straight on some details she got wrong.... One of the best things about the book is that it functions as a cultural and historical travelogue, a fascinating commentary on crossing the country while black in the middle of the 20th century.... A tale fit for an epic."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"This haunting, slender novel is a kind of tiny Rosetta Stone to Toni Morrison's entire oeuvre. Home encapsulates all the themes that have fueled her fiction: ... the hold that time past exerts over time present, the hazards of love (and its link to leaving and loss), the possibility of redemption and transcendence. Once again we are introduced to characters who must choose between the suffocating but sustaining ethos of small-town life and the temptations and pitfalls of the wider world. Once again we are made to see the costs and consolations of caring too much—for a family member, a lover or a friend.... Whereas Beloved mythologized its characters' stories, lending their experiences the resonance of a symphony or an opera, Home is a lower-key chamber piece, pitched somewhere between straight-up naturalism and the world of fable. In these pages Morrison eschews the fierce Faulknerian prose and García Márquez–like flights of surrealism that animated some of her earlier novels, adopting a new, pared-down style that enables her to map the day-to-day lives of her characters with lyrical precision.... Morrison has found a new, angular voice and straight-ahead storytelling style that showcase her knowledge of her characters, and the ways in which violence and passion and regret are braided through their lives, the ways in which love and duty can redeem a blighted past."—NYTimes

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