Bluest Eye (by Toni Morrison)

Morrison, Toni

Toni Morrison, 1931–, American writer, b. Lorain, Ohio, as Chloe Ardelia (later Anthony) Wofford; grad. Howard Univ. (B.A., 1953), Cornell (M.F.A., 1955). Her fiction is noted for its poetic language, lush detail, emotional intensity, and sensitive observation of American life as viewed from a variety of African-American perspectives. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), is the story of a girl ruined by a racist society and its violence. Song of Solomon (1977; National Book Award) established her as one of America's leading novelists. It concerns a middle-class man who achieves self-knowledge through the discovery of his rural black heritage. Her later fiction includes Beloved (1987; Pulitzer Prize), a powerful account of mother love, murder, and the legacy of slavery; and Jazz (1992), a tale of love and murder set in Harlem in the 1920s. Her other novels are Sula (1973), Tar Baby (1981), Paradise (1997), Love (2003), A Mercy (2008), Home (2012), and God Help the Child (2015).

Among Morrison's other works are the essay collections Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power (1992), Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992), and The Origin of Others (2017), essays on race, belonging, and literature based on her Harvard Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (2016). She has also created several children's books, including The Big Box (2000), written with her son, Slade; a play, Dreaming Emmett (1986); a song cycle, Honey and Me (1992), written with André Previn; an opera libretto, Margaret Garner (2003); and, in collaboration with Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré, Desdemona (2011), a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Othello. Awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, she was the first African American to win. Morrison, who was an influential Random House editor for nearly two decades, has been a professor at Princeton since 1989 and founded (1994) the Princeton Atelier, a writers' and performers' workshop.

See D. Taylor-Guthrie, ed., Conversations with Toni Morrison (1994) and C. Y. Denard, ed., Toni Morrison: Conversations (2008); studies by B. W. Jones (1985), A. I. Vinson (1985), N. Y. McKay, ed. (1988), H. Bloom (1990, repr. 2005), H. L. Gates, Jr., and K. A. Appiah, ed. (1993), P. Page (1995), N. J. Peterson, ed. (1997), L. Peach (1995 and, as ed., 1998), D. L. Middleton, ed. (2000), S. A. Stave, ed. (2006), J. L. Carlacio (2007), S. N. Mayberry (2007), J. L. J. Heinert (2008), L. V. D. Jennings (2008), R. Lister (2009), and K. Zauditu-Selassie (2009).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Bluest Eye (by Toni Morrison): Selected full-text books and articles

Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1999
Librarian's tip: This is a book of literary criticism
Toni Morrison's Fiction By Jan Furman University of South Carolina Press, 2014 (Revised edition)
Toni Morrison By Pelagia Goulimari Routledge, 2011
Reading Toni Morrison By Rachel Lister Greenwood Press, 2009
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "The Bluest Eye"
Toni Morrison By Richard Ansersen Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2006
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "The Bluest Eye"
Becoming and Bonding: Contemporary Feminism and Popular Fiction by American Women Writers By Katherine B. Payant Greenwood Press, 1993
Librarian's tip: "The Bluest Eye: A Sad Black Girlhood" begins on p. 168
The Fourth Face: The Image of God in Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye.' By Alexander, Allen African American Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, Summer 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Refiguring the Father: New Feminist Readings of Patriarchy By Patricia Yaeger; Beth Kowaleski-Wallace Southern Illinois University Press, 1989
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "The Naked Father in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye"
A New Midwesternism in Toni Morrison's: The Bluest Eye By Long, Lisa A Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 59, No. 1, Spring 2013
Focusing on the Wrong Front: Historical Displacement, the Maginot Line, and the Bluest Eye By Gillan, Jennifer African American Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Writing the Subject: Bildung and the African American Text By Gunilla Theander Kester Peter Lang, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "A Double Code: Language and the Female Subject in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Gayl Jones' Eva's Man"
Unflinching Gaze: Morrison and Faulkner Re-Envisioned By Carol A. Kolmerten; Stephen M. Ross; Judith Bryant Wittenberg University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Black Matters on the Dixie Limited: As I Lay Dying and The Bluest Eye" and "Untold Stories: Black Daughters in Absalom! Absalom! and The Bluest Eye"
Toni Morrison and the Burden of the Passing Narrative By Bennett, Juda African American Review, Vol. 35, No. 2, Summer 2001
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Not So Fast, Dick and Jane: Reimagining Childhood and Nation in the Bluest Eye By Werrlein, Debra T MELUS, Vol. 30, No. 4, Winter 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
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