Mouth Full of Blood Essays, Speeches, Meditations

Toni Morrison

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\”She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller. She was a magician with language, who understood the power of words. She used them to roil us, to wake us, to educate us and help us grapple with our deepest wounds and try to comprehend them.\” – Oprah Winfrey

A vital non-fiction collection from one of the most celebrated and revered American writers

Spanning four decades, these essays, speeches and meditations interrogate the world around us. They are concerned with race, gender and globalisation. The sweep of American history and the current state of politics. The duty of the press and the role of the artist. Throughout Mouth Full of Blood our search for truth, moral integrity and expertise is met by Toni Morrison with controlled anger, elegance and literary excellence.

The collection is structured in three parts and these are heart-stoppingly introduced by a prayer for the dead of 9/11, a meditation on Martin Luther King and a eulogy for James Baldwin. Morrison’s Nobel lecture, on the power of language, is accompanied by lectures to Amnesty International and the Newspaper Association of America.

She speaks to graduating students and visitors to both the Louvre and America’s Black Holocaust Museum. She revisits The Bluest Eye, Sula and Beloved; reassessing the novels that have become touchstones for generations of readers.

Mouth Full of Blood is a powerful, erudite and essential gathering of ideas that speaks to us all. It celebrates Morrison’s extraordinary contribution to the literary world.

‘Word-work is sublime, she thinks, because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference–the way in which we are like no other life.
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.’
The Nobel Lecture in Literature, 1993

$26

In stock

ISBN – 9781529110883
Publisher – Penguin Random House
Format – Paperback
Publication Date – 13/02/2020
Dimensions – 198mm X 129mm
Categories – Essays

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Toni Morrison
Recitatif
Recitatif


‘Toni Morrison was the lodestar who inspired us’ Bernadine Evaristo

Twyla and Roberta have known each other since they were eight years old, when they were thrown together as roommates in a girls’ shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only to meet again later at a diner, a grocery store and then at a protest. The two women are seemingly at opposite ends of every problem but, despite their conflict, the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them is undeniable.

Recitatif keeps Twyla’s and Roberta’s races ambiguous throughout the story. 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?

This story is a masterful exploration of what keeps us together and what keeps us apart, of race and the relationships that shape our lives. It is as radically compelling and relevant today as it was when first written nearly forty years ago.

‘Toni Morrison is the greatest chronicler of the American experience that we have ever known’ Tayari Jones

‘Her work is an act of giving her community back to itself, so that people – African-Americans but the diaspora as well – can see and witness themselves’ Diana Evans

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