Fall 2023

21L.702
Studies in Fiction: Toni Morrison
TR
11-12:30p
5-232

Prereq: Two subjects in Literature
Units: 3-0-9 HASS-H, CI-M; Can be repeated for credit

This subject provides a comprehensive and critical overview of the literary and scholarly work of the inimitable writer Toni Morrison. Morrison’s novels are well known for being stylistically dense and sometimes difficult to read and understand. But to borrow Morrison’s own words, from The Bluest Eye, the semester-long exercise of reading, thinking, and writing about her work promises to be “a productive and fructifying pain.” My goal is to ensure that all participants in the class actually gain something useful and fortifying from such an in-depth analysis of her oeuvre. As we allow ourselves the opportunity to meditate on her writings, during the course of the semester, I hope we will open ourselves to the possibility of growing more intellectually conscious not only as readers, writers, and thinkers in the classroom, but also as compassionate citizens out in the world. We will watch interviews of her and read seven or eight of her novels, some of her speeches, her short story “Recitatif,” and critical essays about her work.