The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf


On first consideration, Nobel prize winning African-American author Toni Morrison might seem to have little in common with Virginia Woolf, the British writer who challenged Victorian concepts of womanhood. But interestingly enough, Morrison wrote her masters thesis on Woolf and William Faulkner, and in that thesis, she gives special attention to issues of isolation. For Woolf, Morrison notes, isolation brings a sense of freedom that the attached can never comprehend. In her own novels, Morrison redefines Woolf's concept of isolation in terms of American racism, and both Woolf and Morrison examine the obstacles the female artist must overcome before she can create art. This volume looks at the similarities that link Morrison and Woolf together despite their racial, ethnic, national, and historical differences. At the same time, it analyzes how differing structures of domination define their art.


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