Conversations with Toni Morrison by Danille K Taylor-Guthrie
“I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio. I never asked Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin. Never. And I don’t know why I should be asked to explain your life to you.” ーConversations with Toni Morrison, University Press of Mississippi
There is no writer who has such a special place in my heart as Toni Morrison. I am connected to her writings and her talks deeper than I do to any other writers. I am obsessed with her languages. I am enamored by her beautiful soul, I admire her value and most of all, I am inspired by her imagination.
I first read Song of Solomon a few years ago and immediately fell in love with Toni Morrison. In fact, she was the one who sparked my curiosity to read more of literature. I love her so much so in 2018, I decided to read all of her 11 fictions and that was my best reading year, ever. From then on, I continue to keep her words around me so that I feel closer to her… even if she’s gone… I picked Conversation with Toni Morrison to be included in my 2019 reading goal #womenpioneers because, well she is my heroine.
In 1993, Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize in Literature which made her the first African American to be awarded. Although I didn’t read African American literature enough to judge, but Toni Morrison clearly pioneered the new literary territory. And, I think, no one, can write like Toni Morrison.
In reading Conversation with Toni Morrison, it makes my love for her writing even more meaningful. This book is a collection of her interviews from when she wrote The Bluest Eyes to Jazz (The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz). It gives such insight from Morrison’s own words about the inspirations behind these books. I got so many clues to solved the questions that I had when I read her 11 fictions and it makes me want to reread them all again. The greatest take away I took from this book was learning about Morrison’s writing life. It such a serene experience to listen to (read) her talking about her life as a writer, a woman, a teacher and a mother. She never claimed that ‘I am a bestselling author, or award winning author or da da da’ She simply said, I am a writer. Her work is an act of giving so that people can see and witness themselves, and also gives the great beauty and hope that what art is capable of. What a gift to the world Morrison was, and her work is
The songs of Toni Morrison will forever stay with me.