Kindle Books by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is the author of Recitatif (2022), For the Love of Ian (2021), The Measure of Our Lives (2019), The Writer Before the Page (2019) and other 22 books.

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26 results found

Recitatif

release date: Feb 01, 2022
Recitatif
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • A beautiful, arresting story about race and the relationships that shape us through life by the legendary Nobel Prize winner—for the first time in a beautifully produced stand-alone edition, with an introduction by Zadie Smith “A puzzle of a story, then—a game.... When [Morrison] called Recitatif an ‘experiment’ she meant it. The subject of the experiment is the reader.” —Zadie Smith, award-winning, best-selling author of White Teeth In this 1983 short story—the only short story Morrison ever wrote—we meet Twyla and Roberta, who have known each other since they were eight years old and spent four months together as roommates in St. Bonaventure shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only later to find each other again at a diner, a grocery store, and again at a protest. Seemingly at opposite ends of every problem, and at each other's throats each time they meet, the two women still cannot deny the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them. Another work of genius by this masterly writer, Recitatif keeps Twyla's and Roberta's races ambiguous throughout the story. Morrison herself described Recitatif, a story which will keep readers thinking and discussing for years to come, as "an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial." We know that one is white and one is Black, but which is which? And who is right about the race of the woman the girls tormented at the orphanage? A remarkable look into what keeps us together and what keeps us apart, and how perceptions are made tangible by reality, Recitatif is a gift to readers in these changing times.

For the Love of Ian

release date: Mar 25, 2021
For the Love of Ian
A story of Ian’s childhood and who he was before his struggles with schizophrenia. The age of Ian's onset of the disease and what he had endured through his many assessments. The effects his illness had on his family, with spouse, friends, and the many other relationships and the social stigma he had encountered throughout his lifetime. The story tells of Ian’s many high’s and low’s with several hospitalizations arising from numerous medication changes and mental breakdowns. The affects the medication had on his quality of life, mental health, physical health, stability, and the ability to have a somewhat “normal life”. How he struggled with the voices in his head and the paranoia he would often experience.

The Measure of Our Lives

release date: Dec 03, 2019
The Measure of Our Lives
At once the ideal introduction to the legendary Nobel Prize winner and a lovely and moving keepsake for her devoted readers: a treasury of quotations from her work. With a foreword by Zadie Smith. "She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truthteller." —Oprah Winfrey This inspirational book juxtaposes quotations, one to a page, drawn from Toni Morrison's entire body of work, both fiction and nonfiction—from The Bluest Eye to God Help the Child, from Playing in the Dark to The Source of Self-Regard—to tell a story of self-actualization. It aims to evoke the totality of Toni Morrison's literary vision. Its compelling sequence of flashes of revelation—stunning for their linguistic originality, keenness of psychological observation, and philosophical profundity—addresses issues of abiding interest in Morrison's work: the reach of language for the ineffable; transcendence through imagination; the self and its discontents; the vicissitudes of love; the whirligig of memory; the singular power of women; the original American sin of slavery; the bankruptcy of racial oppression; the complex humanity and art of black people. The Measure of Our Lives brims with elegance of style and mind and moral authority.

The Writer Before the Page

release date: Oct 29, 2019
The Writer Before the Page
A Vintage Shorts selection. In her elegant yet piercing style, one of our most celebrated and revered writers, Toni Morrison, interrogates the writer’s task and responsibility in two illuminating and essential pieces. Initially delivered as parts of lecture series and collected in The Source of Self-Regard, these pieces exhibit the depth with which Morrison probes the capacity and power of literature. An ebook short.

Toni Morrison Box Set

release date: Oct 29, 2019
Toni Morrison Box Set
A box set of Toni Morrison's principal works, featuring The Bluest Eye (her first novel), Beloved (Pulitzer Prize winner), and Song of Solomon (National Book Critics Award winner). Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, Beloved transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. This spellbinding novel tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who escapes to Ohio, but eighteen years later is still not free. In The New York Times bestselling novel, The Bluest Eye, Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty and 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. With Song of Solomon, Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as she follows Milkman Dead from his rustbelt city to the place of his family's origins, introducing an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world. This beautifully designed slipcase will make the perfect holiday and perennial gift.

Goodness and the Literary Imagination

release date: Oct 15, 2019
Goodness and the Literary Imagination
What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters’ greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by the more easily defined evil, goodness often escapes our attention. Recalling many literary examples, from Ahab to Coetzee’s Michael K, Morrison seeks the essence of goodness and ponders its significant place in her writing. She considers the concept in relation to unforgettable characters from her own works of fiction and arrives at conclusions that are both eloquent and edifying. In a lively interview conducted for this book, Morrison further elaborates on her lecture’s ideas, discussing goodness not only in literature but in society and history—particularly black history, which has responded to centuries of brutality with profound creativity. Morrison’s essay is followed by a series of responses by scholars in the fields of religion, ethics, history, and literature to her thoughts on goodness and evil, mercy and love, racism and self-destruction, language and liberation, together with close examination of literary and theoretical expressions from her works. Each of these contributions, written by a scholar of religion, considers the legacy of slavery and how it continues to shape our memories, our complicities, our outcries, our lives, our communities, our literature, and our faith. In addition, the contributors engage the religious orientation in Morrison’s novels so that readers who encounter her many memorable characters such as Sula, Beloved, or Frank Money will learn and appreciate how Morrison’s notions of goodness and mercy also reflect her understanding of the sacred and the human spirit.

The Origin of Others

release date: Sep 18, 2017
The Origin of Others
What is race and why does it matter? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? America’s foremost novelist reflects on themes that preoccupy her work and dominate politics: race, fear, borders, mass movement of peoples, desire for belonging. Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Toni Morrison’s most personal work of nonfiction to date.

God Help the Child

release date: Apr 21, 2015
God Help the Child
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A New York Times Notable Book • This fiery and provocative novel from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. 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.”

Desdemona

release date: Jul 18, 2012
Desdemona
The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré, and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. Morrison's response to Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Morrison gives voice and depth to the female characters, letting them speak and sing in the fullness of their hearts. Desdemona is an extraordinary narrative of words, music and song about Shakespeares doomed heroine, who speaks from the grave about the traumas of race, class, gender, war and the transformative power of love. Toni Morrison transports one of the most iconic, central, and disturbing treatments of race in Western culture into the new realities and potential outcomes facing a rising generation of the 21st century.

Home

release date: May 08, 2012
Home
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A New York Times Notable Book • From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner: an emotional powerhouse of a novel about a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary Black man 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, he journeys to his native Georgia with a renewed sense of purpose in search of his sister, but 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 what it means to be a man, what it takes to heal, and—above all—what it means to come home.

Peeny Butter Fudge

release date: Apr 03, 2012
Peeny Butter Fudge
Snuggle, snuggle. Time to rest. Nana joins us in her nest. There is no one like Nana in the whole wide world. She is the best. Nana knows how to take an ordinary afternoon and make it extra special! Nap time, story time, and playtime are transformed by fairies, dragons, dancing, and pretending -- and then mixing and fixing yummy, yummy fudge just like Nana and Mommy did not so many years ago.... Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and her son Slade tell a story of what really goes on when Nana is left in charge!

Little Cloud and Lady Wind

release date: Apr 19, 2011
Little Cloud and Lady Wind
Little Cloud likes her own place in the sky, away from the other clouds. There, the sky is all hers. She is free to make her own way and go where she wishes. Can Lady Wind show Little Cloud the power of being with others? Will Little Cloud agree there is strength in unity and change her ways? A fresh take on a classic story, Little Cloud and Lady Wind will teach kids how to work together to achieve their goals.

Birth of a Nation'hood

release date: Aug 25, 2010
Birth of a Nation'hood
Co-edited and introduced by Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Birth of a Nation'hood elucidates as never before the grim miasma of the O.J. Simpson case, which has elicited gargantuan fascination. As they pertain to the scandal, the issues of race, sex, violence, money, and the media are refracted through twelve powerful essays that have been written especially for this book by distinguished intellectuals--black and white, male and female. Together these keen analyses of a defining American moment cast a chilling gaze on the script and spectacle of the insidious tensions that rend our society, even as they ponder the proper historical, cultural, political, legal, psychological, and linguistic ramifications of the affair. With contributions by: Toni Morrison, George Lipsitz, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., with Aderson Bellegarde Francois and Linda Y. Yueh, Nikol G. Alexander and Drucilla Cornell, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Ishmael Reed, Leola Johnson and David Roediger, Andrew Ross, Patricia J. Williams, Ann duCille, Armond White, Claudia Brodsky Lacour

Burn This Book

release date: May 12, 2009
Burn This Book
Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, Burn This Book is a powerful collection of essays that explore the meaning of censorship and the power of literature to inform the way we see the world, and ourselves.

The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993

release date: Jan 16, 2009
The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993
Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, reads the speech she delivered in Stockholm, Sweden, at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.

A Mercy

release date: Nov 11, 2008
A Mercy
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In "one of Morrison's most haunting works" (New York Times) the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, like Beloved, it is the story of a mother and a daughter—a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment. 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 lives.

Beloved

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Beloved
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unflinchingly look into the abyss of slavery, from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner. This spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. With a new afterword. 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.

The Dancing Mind

release date: Jul 24, 2007
The Dancing Mind
On the occasion of her acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters on the sixth of November, 1996, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison speaks with brevity and passion to the pleasures, the difficulties, the necessities, of the reading/writing life in our time. "She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truthteller." —Oprah Winfrey

Paradise

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Paradise
The acclaimed Nobel Prize winner challenges our most fiercely held beliefs as she weaves folklore and history, memory and myth into an unforgettable meditation on race, religion, gender, and a far-off past that is ever present—in prose that soars with the rhythms, grandeur, and tragic arc of an epic poem. “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 from death and despair that nine male citizens of Ruby will lay their pain, their terror, and their murderous rage. “A fascinating story, wonderfully detailed. . . . The town is the stage for a profound and provocative debate.” —Los Angeles Times

Tar Baby

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Tar Baby
A ravishingly beautiful and emotionally incendiary reinvention of the love story by the legendary Nobel Prize winner 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.

Jazz

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Jazz
From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner, a passionate, profound story of love and obsession that brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of Black urban life. 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 novel “transforms a familiar refrain of jilted love into a bold, sustaining time of self-knowledge and discovery. Its rhythms are infectious” (People). "The author conjures up worlds with complete authority and makes no secret of her angst at the injustices dealt to Black women.” —The New York Times Book Review

Playing in the Dark

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Playing in the Dark
An immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race—and promises to change the way we read American literature—from the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner Morrison shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires. According to the Chicago Tribune, Morrison "reimagines and remaps the possibility of America." Her 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. Written with the artistic vision that has earned the Nobel Prize-winning author a pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark is an invaluable read for avid Morrison admirers as well as students, critics, and scholars of American literature.

Song of Solomon

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Song of Solomon
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An official Oprah Winfrey’s “The Books That Help Me Through” selection • With this brilliantly imagined novel, the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. 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. As Morrison follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, she introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized Black world.

Sula

release date: Jul 24, 2007
Sula
From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner: Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. This brilliantly imagined novel brings us the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Nel and Sula's 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, Sula is a work that overflows with life.

The Bluest Eye

release date: Jul 24, 2007
The Bluest Eye
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner—a powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity that asks questions about race, class, and gender with characteristic subtly and grace. In Morrison’s acclaimed first novel, Pecola Breedlove—an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others—prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. Here, Morrison’s writing is “so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry” (The New York Times).

Inventing the Truth

release date: May 20, 1998
Inventing the Truth
The author of On Writing Well presents stories and advice on the writing process from Frank McCourt, Annie Dillard, and many more. For anyone who enjoys reading memoirs—or is thinking about writing one—this collection offers a master class from nine distinguished authors: Russell Baker, Jill Ker Conway, Annie Dillard, Ian Frazier, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alfred Kazin, Frank McCourt, Toni Morrison, and Eileen Simpson. “Annie Dillard talks of her Pittsburgh childhood and her moment of waking to the world outside. Russell Baker explains why his first draft of Growing Up was so bad that he had to start over again. Alfred Kazin finds that writing about his Brooklyn childhood connected him with the great tradition of Emerson and Whitman. Toni Morrison tells why her fiction uses not only family history but the slave narratives of her people. Lewis Thomas traces the evolution of his singular self from primeval bacteria to contemporary scientist whose drive to be useful is the most fundamental of all biological necessities. . . . Delightful and instructive.” —Library Journal
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