Book 8: Tar Baby by Toni Morrison

December 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm (Review) (, , , )

This will be short.  I have read a few other novels by Toni Morrison and have read some of her poetry. I have always admired the strength of both her voice and lyricism. The words flow from the page with elegance and grace. You know you’re reading something IMPORTANT, which can some times overwhelm the grace and make it feel a bit portentous.  What I liked about Tar Baby is that it lacked this portentousness and instead had a blunter tone. 

As always Morrison’s examination of race and how it affects each character is interesting and challenges any obvious or easy conclusions. This is the best sort of writing on this subject in that it doesn’t allow people (no matter what their political colour) off the hook for making stupid assumptions about others. It was especially interesting to read this is in the wake of Obama’s victory. It made me wonder had anything really changed at all, I still haven’t figured out the answer.


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