Toni Morrison Archive

Writing Racist Characters

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There are uniquely white stories that all white people know intimately, and that we aren’t telling: stories of white people perpetrating racism.

The American Dream in The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit

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Lucette Lagnado’s 2007 memoir is a testament to the difficulties that are so inherent to the immigration process that even a family of people who are educated, upper-class, and well-off experience them.

The Poet’s Participation in the Global Economy

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How can and how does the poet contribute to the political, historical, and economic tradition of their society?

Reimagining Immigration in a World of Portals

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I would argue that there is on one hand literature that allows readers to escape reality, and on the other hand literature that forces readers to see their reality more clearly. Mohsin Hamid has accomplished the latter in his imaginative novel published last year, Exit West, and it is

The Weather We’re Having

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The calamity of weather disaster in literature offers more overt indications of those who are vulnerable and exposed. From Shakespeare’s encroaching storms to Richard Wright’s floods, from Zora Neale Hurston’s hurricane to Haruki Murakami’s quakes, we learn that we have to keep our eyes on the skies and our

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