While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Toni Morrison books.
1. Beloved (2004)
Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement….
2. The Bluest Eye (Vintage International) (2007)
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always…
3. Song of Solomon (2004)
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world….
4. Sula (2004)
Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal—or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, is a work that overflows with life….
5. Home (Vintage International) (2013)
When Frank Money joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his cherished and fragile little sister, Cee. After the war, his shattered life has no purpose until he hears that Cee is in danger.Frank is a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary black man. As he journeys to his native Georgia in search of Cee, it becomes clear that their troubles began well before their wartime separation. Together, they return to their rural hometown of Lotus, where buried secrets are unearthed and where Frank learns at last…
6. Jazz (2004)
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe’s wife, Violet, attacks the girl’s corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life….
At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.” A fiery and provocative…
8. Paradise (Vintage International) (2014)
“They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take their time.” So begins Toni Morrison’s Paradise, which opens with a horrifying scene of mass violence and chronicles its genesis in an all-black small town in rural Oklahoma. Founded by the descendants of freed slaves and survivors in exodus from a hostile world, the patriarchal community of Ruby is built on righteousness, rigidly enforced moral law, and fear. But seventeen miles away, another group of exiles has gathered in a promised land of their own. And it is upon these women in flight…
9. A Mercy (2009)
In the 1680s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy. Jacob Vaark is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Rejected by her mother, Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, and later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their…
10. Toni Morrison: 365 Beautiful and Uplifting Quotes for Daily Reading (2018)
“Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes.” ~ Toni MorrisonThis book is collection of 365 powerful quotes capturing the essence of Toni Morrison, arguably one of the greatest writers of our times. “Don’t ever think I fell for you, or fell over you. I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it.” ~ Toni Morrison”At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember…
11. Love: A Novel (2005)
Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison’s spellbinding new novel is a Faulknerian symphony of passion and hatred, power and perversity, color and class that spans three generations of black women in a fading beach town.In life, Bill Cosey enjoyed the affections of many women, who would do almost anything to gain his favor. In death his hold on them may be even stronger. Wife, daughter, granddaughter, employee, mistress: As Morrison’s protagonists stake their furious claim on Cosey’s memory and estate, using everything from intrigue to…
12. Tar Baby (2004)
Ravishingly beautiful and emotionally incendiary, is Toni Morrison’s reinvention of the love story. Jadine Childs is a black fashion model with a white patron, a white boyfriend, and a coat made out of ninety perfect sealskins. Son is a black fugitive who embodies everything she loathes and desires. As Morrison follows their affair, which plays out from the Caribbean to Manhattan and the deep South, she charts all the nuances of obligation and betrayal between blacks and whites, masters and servants, and men and women….
13. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1993)
The Nobel Prize-winning author now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.Toni Morrison’s brilliant discussions of the “Africanist” presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was…
Paperback Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1762) ASIN: B01NAO86G3 Package Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches Shipping Weight: 7.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?…
Without apology Nobel Prize author Toni Morrison describes herself as an African American woman writer. These collected interviews reveal her to be much more. She has shared space in her creative life for her career in publishing, in teaching, and in being a single parent. Writing, however, is one thing she “refuses to live without.” These interviews beginning in 1974 reveal an artist whose creativity is intimately linked with her African American experience and is fueled by cultural and societal concerns. For twenty years she has created unforgettable…
Best Toni Morrison Books That You Need
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The Toni Morrison Book Club
Author(s): Juda Bennett; Winnifred Brown-Glaude; Cassandra Jackson; Piper Kendrix Williams
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press, Year: 2020, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
Author(s): Toni Morrison
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group, Year: 2019, Size: 706 Kb, Download: epub
The Measure of Our Lives: A Gathering of Wisdom
Author(s): Toni Morrison; Zadie Smith
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group, Year: 2019, Size: 4 Mb, Download: epub
Geography and the Political Imaginary in the Novels of Toni Morrison
Author(s): Herman Beavers
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2018, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
Love and Narrative Form in Toni Morrison’s Later Novels
Author(s): Jean Wyatt
Publisher: University of Georgia Press, Year: 2017, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
Toni Morrison For Beginners
Author(s): Ron David
Publisher: For Beginners, Year: 2016, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
Toni Morrison: A Literary Life
Author(s): Linda Wagner-Martin
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are truly chart-busters according to Los Angeles Times, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.