The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Beloved" and "Jazz" now gives
us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary
criticism that promises to change the way we read American
literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue
Toni Morrison's 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. She 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.
Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a
pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be
avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics,
and scholars of American literature.
By going for the American literary jugular...she places her
arguments...at the very heart of contemporary public conversation
about what it is to be authentically and originally American. She]
boldly...reimagines and remaps the possibility of America.
Toni Morrison is the closest thing the country has to a national
"The New York Times Book Review"
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
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