Description : Critical Responses About the Black Family in Toni Morrison's God Help the Child explores the integral role of what Kobi Kambon has called the “conscious African family” in developing commercial success stories such as those of Morrison’s protagonist, Bride. Initially, Bride’s accomplishments are an extension of a superficial “cult of celebrity” which inhabits and undermines the development of meaningful interpersonal relationships until a significant literal and metaphorical journey helps her redefine success by facilitating the building of community and family.
Description : This book examines Toni Morrison’s highly influential works through the lens of philanthropy. The point of departure of this endeavor is the keen observation that philanthropy has always played a leading role in US discourses about the nation itself. While doing so, time and again philanthropy has also been used as a means of social stratification – especially for so-called social minorities such as the African American community, whose historical experience within the United States is at the very heart of Morrison’s novels. This book pursues the goal of a twofold understanding – on the one hand, through offering a rather innovative access to Morrison’s works, the project allows for new insights into one of today’s most influential authors. On the other hand, this book explores the productivity of the concept of philanthropy for literary and cultural studies – a concept hitherto largely neglected by scholars in both academic fields.
Description : In Love and Narrative Form in Toni Morrison’s Later Novels, Jean Wyatt explores the interaction among ideas of love, narrative innovation, and reader response in Toni Morrison’s seven later novels. Love comes in a new and surprising shape in each of the later novels; for example, Love presents it as the deep friendship between little girls; in Home it acts as a disruptive force producing deep changes in subjectivity; and in Jazz it becomes something one innovates and recreates each moment—like jazz itself. Each novel’s unconventional idea of love requires a new experimental narrative form. Wyatt analyzes the stylistic and structural innovations of each novel, showing how disturbances in narrative chronology, surprise endings, and gaps mirror the dislocated temporality and distorted emotional responses of the novels’ troubled characters and demand that the reader situate the present-day problems of the characters in relation to a traumatic African American past. The narrative surprises and gaps require the reader to become an active participant in making meaning. And the texts’ complex narrative strategies draw out the reader’s convictions about love, about gender, about race—and then prompt the reader to reexamine them, so that reading becomes an active ethical dialogue between text and reader. Wyatt uses psychoanalytic concepts to analyze Morrison’s narrative structures and how they work on readers. Love and Narrative Form devotes a chapter to each of Morrison’s later novels: Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, Love, A Mercy, Home, and God Help the Child.
Description : This study analyzes in turn each of her novels. It also provides the reader with a complete bibliography of her writings, as well as a list of selected reviews and criticism. The discussion of each novel features sections on plot and character development, narrative structure, thematic issues, and an alternative critical approach from which to read the novel.