May 6, 2012 |
Home A Novel Toni Morrison Alfred A. Knopf: 148 pp., $24 I've long admired Toni Morrison as a moral visionary, but her fiction, not so much. Of her nine novels, three - "Song of Solomon" (1977), "Beloved" (1987) and 2008's "A Mercy" - are masterpieces, yet the others, particularly the post-Nobel books "Paradise" (1997) and "Love" (2003) can be so stylized as to veer dangerously close to self-parody. Anyone who's read her in any depth may understand what I'm referring to: those stentorian rhythms, the biblical cadences, the characters who function more as archetypes than flesh-and-blood.
March 4, 2012 |
It may be impossible for an author to achieve more acclaim than Toni Morrison, now 81, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993. Her work is "characterized by visionary force and poetic import," the Nobel Committee wrote, and we'll get more of it May 8, when her 10th novel is published. "Home" is the story of an angry African American veteran of the Korean War who returns, unhappily, to the Georgia community where he was raised. She's not the only Nobel Prize winner returning to shelves.
November 4, 2010
The J. Paul Getty Trust is being told once more that its money ? this time $44.9 million ? may be no good in Great Britain, where authorities have blocked the sale of a prized landscape painting of Rome by J.M.W. Turner that the Getty appeared to have bought in a July auction in London. Britain's culture minister, Ed Vaizy, announced Wednesday that the required export license for "Modern Rome ? Campo Vaccino," which Turner painted in 1839, will be held up through Feb. 2, and possibly until Aug. 1, to give potential buyers who want to keep the painting on British soil a chance to match the Getty's bid. The Getty bid for the Turner knowing the sale could be negated, as happened in 2004, when the National Gallery of London was able to match the $46.6-million price the Getty had agreed to pay two years earlier to buy Raphael's "Madonna of the Pinks" from the Duke of Northumberland.
June 5, 2009 |
The setting was divine: a duplex on the Upper East Side. The featured speaker: Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The subjects: sex, violence and profanity. In other words, the stuff that books are banned for. Some 50 publishers, writers and other 1st Amendment supporters gathered Wednesday night to launch the Free Speech Leadership Council, an advocacy arm of the National Coalition Against Censorship, a nonprofit founded in 1974. Morrison, 78, has long experience with censorship.
May 24, 2009 |
If Nobel laureate Toni Morrison edits a collection of famous writers on the subject of censorship and the power of the written word, wouldn't you expect a firecracker read? After all, what better lightning-rod topic exists for writers than the threat of shutting off their computers?
November 16, 2008 |
In the introduction to an edition of "Beloved" published after she won the Nobel Prize in literature, Toni Morrison notes that in 1983, she decided to quit her job as an editor at a New York publishing house in order to focus solely on her own work. By then, Morrison had already published four novels, and she felt it was time to "live as a grown-up writer," off royalties and writing alone. As it turns out, this was a wise decision, if also an unsettling one.