Books · Life

Toni Morrison

I’ve been struggling to write this post.  I’ve arranged and rearranged the words in my head but cannot seem to find the ones worthy of this phenomenal woman.

My introduction to Toni Morrison was during the summer after 7th grade, which was the summer I pretty much spent on the front porch reading.  I read age appropriate books, but I also read a very thick biography of Josephine Baker and for the first time, Jazz by Toni Morrison.  I’ve heard so much about her other novels over the years, however, I believe Jazz is worthy of more attention.  Jazz blew and reshaped my twelve year old mind.  If a book can be a song or an album even, then Jazz is it.  It is the lyrics of a song that you seek to learn and understand.

I’ve read all of Ms. Morrison’s novels and Jazz has remained my favorite.  This is one of those novels that has it’s own atmosphere and it draws you into it.  If you’ve never read any of her novels, I would recommend reading this one.  Here’s a short passage: “It promised to be a mighty bleak household, what with the birds gone and the two of them wiping their cheeks all day, but spring came into the City.  Violet saw, coming into the building with an Okeh record under her arm and carrying some stewmeat wrapped in butcher paper, another girl with four marcelled waves on each side of her head.  Violet invited her in to examine the record and that’s how that scandalizing threesome on Lenox Avenue began.  What turned out different was who shot whom.”  Intriguing, right?

I admire Ms. Morrison for more than the unique manner in which she wove her stories.  She entered into the world of publishing in what was considered to be late in life and shook the world with her one of a kind voice.

So what is one takeaway from her brilliant life?  Don’t stop dreaming and don’t let anyone tell you that it is too late to achieve your dream.


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