Toni Morrison
By: William Nericcio | Categories: HiLo Heroes, Literature

f3toni morrison

In 1970, with her debut novel The Bluest Eye, the former Chloe Ardelia Wofford taught us that seeing is hard-wired with being, that racism is woven into and writ large upon the American body politic. We are talking, of course, about TONI MORRISON (born 1931), whose other best-known novels — Sula and Song of Solomon — were the prelude to a blockbuster novel representing the most profound literary meditation on the consequences of slavery since Faulkner’s Light in August. With a narrative range that incorporated elements of the Yoknapatawpha-weaving Southern sage’s genius for internal dialogue (“If they put an iron circle around your neck I will bite it away”), coupled with lessons learned from Gabriel García Márquez and James Joyce, Morrison clawed a fiction — Beloved — out of the very soul of the Americas and beyond. The Nobel Prize in Literature that came her way in 1993 was almost an anti-climax.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Helen Gurley Brown, Matt Dillon, Yoko Ono.

READ MORE about members of the Postmodernist Generation (1924-33).

Share

MORE POSTS by

Chicano public intellectual William "Memo" Nericcio runs the Cultural Studies MA program (MALAS) at San Diego State University. His book Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America (2007), is in its second printing and is prowling the corridors of academe in the guise of a traveling show, Mextasy. He also publishes the Textmex Galleryblog.