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Playing in the Dark


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About the Author

Toni Morrison is the author of eleven novels, from The Bluest Eye (1970) to God Help the Child (2015). She received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She died in 2019.


Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Morrison ( Jazz , LJ 4/15/92) believes that an African American presence, largely ignored by critics, has always permeated white American literature. She opens by carefully setting her parameters and defining her terms--e.g., Africanism: ``the denotative and connotative blackness that African peoples have come to signify, as well as the entire range of views, assumptions, readings, and misreadings that accompany Eurocentric learning about these people.'' The first few pages feature densely packed language whose meaning becomes clearer when Morrison examines such specific works as Willa Cather's Sapphira and the Slave Girl . This brief, highly provocative book, which considers ``the impact of racism on those who perpetuate it,'' is highly recommended not only for Morrison's many admirers but for all those interested in American literature.--Louis J. Parascandola, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn Campus , New York

"A profound redefinition of American cultural identity."--Philadelphia Inquirer

"By going for the American literary jugular...she places her arguments...at the very heart of contemporary public conversation about what it is to be authentically and originally American. [She] boldly...reimagines and remaps the possibility of America." --Chicago Tribune

"Toni Morrison is the closest thing the country has to a national writer." --The New York Times Book Review

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