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Toni Morrison and the American Tradition

A Rhetorical Reading


Waltraud Ehrhardt and Herbert William Rice

Widely recognized as one of the most significant writers America has produced, Toni Morrison has consistently confounded critics. As she says herself, she seeks to avoid being «like Joyce, Hardy, and Faulkner.» In this work, Rice explores the ways Morrison is like and unlike writers such as Faulkner. He uncovers a complex tension at the core of her work that at once connects her to and separates her from the American tradition.