“This world is interesting and difficult,” she would say. “Happiness? Don’t settle for that.”
This particular article by Gaby Wood tributes Morrison like no other I have read. It reminds me why each time I read one of Toni Morrison’s novels, it felt as if I held my breath until the last page. We all know that is impossible, but the world she creates within her texts redefines the past, present, and future. There are no spaces for outsiders or interruptions. I read “A Mercy” in two days, dry-mouthed, sleep-deprived, but never abandoned.
Morrison’s take on race and spaces have never been secret within the pages of her books. Like truly talented individuals, she is blunt, unforgiving, unyielding, and delivers at every turn – just what we need our leaders to aspire.
…she wrote from the point of view of little black girls in her first two books, of 17th-century slaves in Mercy, of a child killed by her mother to save her from suffering in Beloved. She combined the metaphorical stories of her grandparents with the facts on the ground, and arrived at what she calls “imaginative resistance”. To tell a tale, you have to pick up its pieces, she once suggested, comparing storytellers to Hansel and Gretel. “Their momma doesn’t want them. They leave a little trail. That trail is language.”