eBook PDF / e-Pub Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination

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Title:Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
Format Type:Ebook
Author:Toni Morrison
Publisher:Harvard University Press
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:110
Category:Non fiction, Literary criticism, Race, Essays, Theory, Feminism, African american

Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination The Pulitzer Prize winning author of Beloved and Jazz now gives us a learned stylish and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race .

Toni Morrison s brilliant discussions of the Africanist presence in the fiction of Poe Melville Cather and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism manhood and innocence depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires .

Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a pre eminent place in modern letters Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students critics and scholars of American literature


Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby br br Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio but eighteen years later she is still not free She has too many memories of Sweet Home the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word Beloved br br Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope i Beloved i is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye

i The Bluest Eye i is Toni Morrison s first novel a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision Set in the author s girlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio it tells the story of black eleven year old Pecola Breedlove Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond blue eyed children in America In the autumn of the year the marigolds in the Breedloves garden do not bloom Pecola s life does change in painful devastating ways br What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child s yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment i The Bluest Eye i remains one of Tony Morrisons s most powerful unforgettable novels and a significant work of American fiction

Song of Solomon

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight For the rest of his life he too will be trying to fly With this brilliantly imagined novel Toni Morrison transfigures the coming of age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel Garc a M rquez As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family s origins Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses liars and assassins the inhabitants of a fully realized black world


This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close knit childhood in a small Ohio town through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation br br Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born to marry raise a family and become a pillar of the black community Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced escaping to college and submerging herself in city life When she returns to her roots it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress Eventually both women must face the consequences of their choices Together they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America


They shoot the white girl first With the rest they can take their time So begins this visionary work from a storyteller Toni Morrison s first novel since she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature Paradise opens with a horrifying scene of mass violence and chronicles its genesis in an all black small town in rural Oklahoma Founded by the descendants of freed slaves and survivors in exodus from a hostile world the patriarchal community of Ruby is built on righteousness rigidly enforced moral law and fear But seventeen miles away another group of exiles has gathered in a promised land of their own And it is upon these women in flight from death and despair that nine male citizens of Ruby will lay their pain their terror and their murderous rage br In prose that soars with the rhythms grandeur and tragic arc of an epic poem Toni Morrison challenges our most fiercely held beliefs as she weaves folklore and history memory and myth into an unforgettable meditation of race religion gender and a far off past that is ever present


In the winter of when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead Joe Trace middle aged door to door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products shoots his teenage lover to death At the funeral Joe s wife Violet attacks the girl s corpse This passionate profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time as a narrative is assembled from the emotions hopes fears and deep realities of black urban life br br Jazz is the story of a triangle of passion jealousy murder and redemption of sex and spirituality of slavery and liberation of country and city of being male and female African American and above all of being human Like the music of its title it is a dazzlingly lyric play on elemental themes as soaring and daring as a Charlie Parker solo as heartbreakingly powerful as the blues It is Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Toni Morrison at her best

Tar Baby

Ravishingly beautiful and emotionally incendiary b Tar Baby b i i is Toni Morrison s reinvention of the love story Jadine Childs is a black fashion model with a white patron a white boyfriend and a coat made out of ninety perfect sealskins Son is a black fugitive who embodies everything she loathes and desires As Morrison follows their affair which plays out from the Caribbean to Manhattan and the deep South she charts all the nuances of obligation and betrayal between blacks and whites masters and servants and men and women

A Mercy

In the s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy Jacob Vaark is an Anglo Dutch trader and adventurer with a small holding in the harsh North Despite his distaste for dealing in flesh he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland br This is Florens who can read and write and might be useful on his farm Rejected by her mother Florens looks for love first from Lina an older servant woman at her new master s house and later from the handsome blacksmith an African never enslaved who comes riding into their lives br A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery But at its heart like Beloved it is the ambivalent disturbing story of a mother and a daughter a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment

God Help the Child

Spare and unsparing God Help the Child the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape and misshape the life of the adult br br Spare and unsparing God Help the Child is a searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult At the center a woman who calls herself Bride whose stunning blue black skin is only one element of her beauty her boldness and confidence her success in life but which caused her light skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish Booker the man Bride loves and loses whose core of anger was born in the wake of the childhood murder of his beloved brother Rain the mysterious white child who finds in Bride the only person she can talk to about the abuse she s suffered at the hands of her prostitute mother and Sweetness Bride s mother who takes a lifetime to understand that what you do to children matters And they might never forget


A taut and tortured story about one man s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war br br America s most celebrated novelist Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison extends her profound take on our history with this twentieth century tale of redemption a taut and tortured story about one man s desperate search for himself in a world disfigured by war br br Frank Money is an angry self loathing veteran of the Korean War who after traumatic experiences on the front lines finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars His home may seem alien to him but he is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from and that he s hated all his life As Frank revisits his memories from childhood and the war that have left him questioning his sense of self he discovers a profound courage he had thought he could never possess again br br A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood and his home

Paradise, Home, A Mercy, Beloved, Sula, Jazz, The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, Song of Solomon, God Help the Child