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Reading, Learning, Teaching Toni Morrison

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Karen F. Stein

Reading, Learning, Teaching Toni Morrison draws on contemporary scholarship and Morrison’s own commentary to explicate all of her novels published to date, including her 2008 novel A Mercy.
Morrison, the 1993 Nobel Prize winner, is an unabashedly confrontational author. Her profound and complex novels address problems such as slavery, violence, poverty, and sexual abuse. Morrison’s work encompasses a project of total cultural renewal: she re-imagines and reaffirms the experience of African Americans from the earliest days of slavery up to the present, avoiding stereotypes or oversimplification. She employs African and Western literary traditions and conventions as a basis for both structure and critique, re-writing some of the «master narratives» of American culture and history. This book analyzes Morrison’s novels in the context of African American history and literature, and provides supplemental material to guide teachers and students to understand and appreciate Morrison’s novels.