Toni Morrison Archive

The Resistance Will Also Be Literary

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November has been a heavy month. The results of the U.S. elections came in; Leonard Cohen passed away; and on Sunday 13th, France commemorated the 1-year anniversary of the Paris attacks.

Drumming Up Material: An Ethos

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A woman named Jean lives on the second floor of my apartment building. I want to like Jean; Jean waters the plants around the building and once I passed her on the avenue smiling in fringed suede, her Beatle-clipped hair ruffled by the spring day.

Booze, Books, and Boys: Literary Friendships Throughout History

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Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker Oscar Wilde was the son of Lady Jane, an eclectic socialite who collected artists like trophies. Bram Stoker was a frequent feature in her Saturday night salons, although the two met at a young age and were fast friends through the rest of their

Round-Up: Librarian of Congress Nominated, VA Law Blocks Books, and a Serial Killer’s Book Also Blocked

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From Obama’s nomination for the next Librarian of Congress to a serial killer’s controversial book, the latest developments in literary news: President Obama has nominated Carla Hayden as the next Librarian of Congress. Hayden is currently the CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland and was

How to Write Violence

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How to talk about violence in literature, when the term violence is so broad? “Violence” is defined as “behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something,” but it’s also used to depict the “strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.” How to

Lost in Translation: A Journey on the Li River

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My China-born daughter is thirteen the summer day we take a cruise down the Lijiang River from Guilin to Yangshao. This stretch is said to be the inspiration for much Chinese poetry and art: “Guilin’s unique topography. and beautiful scenery of the Karst Mountains and the unsurpassed beauty of the

The Right Words

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For my daughter, who just turned two, language is plastic. She pokes it and stretches it to find out what it can do. Joyfully, she tells stories (only some of them true) about her day. She loves to list the parts she and the cat do and don’t have

Of All Things: The Signature

Congratulations! You’ve published a book, and people are lining up to buy it. Now begins the trickiest part of an author’s journey: signing your own book. You’ve read an excerpt, charmed the crowd. You’ve perfected the swooshy drama of your signature. Uncap your Official Signing Pen. Take a seat. Lined

Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems

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Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems James Baldwin Beacon Press, April 2014 120 pages $16.00 Buy: book | ebook The cover of Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems features blurbs by none other than Toni Morrison and Maya Angelou, telling the world to read this book. I’ll be honest; I feel like I

Research Unleashed! And Leashed.

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I knew I had a problem when I started envying my dog’s cone collar. Now, my dog’s problem was a hot spot. Allergic, itchy, hot, and double-coated, my German Shepherd had chewed her hind leg raw over the course of a single evening. My problem was research. Engrossing, surprising,