Books

Race

Toni Morrison

Is who we are really only skin deep? In this searing, remonstrative book, Toni Morrison unravels race through the stories of those debased and dehumanised because of it. A young black girl longing for the blue eyes of white baby dolls spirals into inferiority and confusion. A friendship falls apart over a disputed memory. An ex-slave is haunted by a lonely, rebukeful ghost, bent on bringing their past home. Strange and unexpected, yet always stirring, Morrison’s writing on race sinks us deep into the heart and mind of our troubled humanity.

Includes selections from the books Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Beloved by Toni Morrison

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

For the full list of books visit vintageminis.co.uk

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Sisters by Louisa May Alcott
Love by Jeanette Winterson
Babies by Anne Enright
Language by Xiaolu Guo

God Help the Child

Toni Morrison

The new novel from the author of Beloved

The past has a hold like no other...

Sweetness wants to love her child, Bride, but she struggles to love her as a mother should.

Bride, now glamorous, grown up, ebony-black and panther-like, wants to love her man, Booker, but she finds herself betrayed by a moment in her past, a moment borne of a desperate burn for the love of her mother. Booker cannot fathom Bride’s depths, with his own love-lorn past bending him out of shape. Can they find a way through the damage wrought on their blameless childhood souls, to light and happiness, free from pain?

Toni Morrison’s fierce and provocative new novel exposes the damage adults wreak on children, and how this echoes through the generations.

Home

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his shattered sense of self, he unearths the courage he thought he’d lost forever. It is with incantatory power that Morrison’s language reveals an apparently defeated man finding his manhood – and, finally, his home.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Birth Of A Nation-Hood

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison contributes an introduction and brings together thirteenessays, all written especially for this book, by distinguished academics - black and white, male and female - on one of the grimmest and most revealing moments of American history: the O J Simpson case.

Beloved

Toni Morrison

INCLUDES A READING GUIDE

Terrible, unspeakable things happened to Sethe at Sweet Home, the farm where she lived as a slave for so many years until she escaped to Ohio. Her new life is full of hope but eighteen years later she is still not free. Sethe's new home is not only haunted by the memories of her past but also by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.

A Mercy

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

On the day that Jacob, an Anglo-Dutch trader, agrees to accept a slave in lieu of payment for a debt from a plantation owner, little Florens's life changes irrevocably. With her keen intelligence and passion for wearing the cast-off shoes of her mistress, Florens has never blurred into the background and now at the age of eight she is uprooted from her family to begin a new life with a new master. She ends up part of Jacob's household, along with his wife Rebekka, Lina their Native American servant, and the enigmatic Sorrow who was rescued from a shipwreck. Together these women face the trials of their harsh environment as Jacob attempts to carve out a place for himself in the brutally unforgiving landscape of North America in the seventeenth century.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Beloved

Toni Morrison (and others)

It is the mid-1800s. At Sweet Home in Kentucky, an era is ending as slavery comes under attack from the abolitionists. The worlds of Halle and Paul D. are to be destroyed in a cataclysm of torment and agony. The world of Sethe, however, is to turn from one of love to one of violence and death - the death of Sethe's baby daughter Beloved, whose name is the single word on the tombstone, who died at her mother's hands, and who will return to claim retribution.

Love

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

May, Christine, Heed, Junior, Vida – even L – all are women obsessed with Bill Cosey. He shapes their yearnings for a father, husband, lover, guardian, and friend. This audacious vision from a master storyteller on the nature of love – its appetite, its sublime possession, and its consuming dread – is rich in characters and dramatic events, and in its profound sensitivity to just how alive the past can be. Sensual, elegiac and unforgettable, Love ultimately comes full circle to that indelible, overwhelming first love that marks us forever.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Jazz

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

Joe Trace – in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband – shoots dead his lover of three months, the impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas. At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet, who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks, tries with a knife to disfigure the corpse. Passionate and profound, Jazz brings us back and forth in time, in a narrative assembled from the hopes, fears and realities of black urban life.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Paradise

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

Four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near an all-black town in America in the mid-1970s. The inevitability of this attack, and the attempts to avert it, lie at the heart of Paradise. Spanning the birth of the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, the counter-culture and politics of the late 1970s, deftly manipulating past, present and future, this novel reveals the interior lives of the citizens of the town with astonishing clarity. Starkly evoking the clashes that have bedevilled the American century: between race and racelessness; religion and magic; promiscuity and fidelity; individuality and belonging.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

Toni Morrison’s debut novel immerses us in the tragic, torn lives of a poor black family – Pauline, Cholly, Sam and Pecola – in post-Depression 1940s Ohio. Unlovely and unloved, Pecola prays each night for blue eyes like those of her privileged white schoolfellows. At once intimate and expansive, unsparing in its truth-telling, The Bluest Eye shows how the past savagely defines the present.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Song Of Solomon

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

Song of Solomon begins in 1930s America with Macon Dead Jr, the son of a wealthy black property owner, who has been brought up to revere the white world. Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, though he is more concerned with escaping the familial tyranny of his own father. So while Guitar joins a terrorist group of poor blacks, Macon goes home to the South, lured by tales of buried family treasure. But his odyssey back home and a deadly confrontation with Guitar leads to the discovery of something infinitely more valuable than gold: his past and the origins of his true self.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Sula

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

As young girls, Nel and Sula shared each other's secrets and dreams in the poor black mid-West of their childhood. Then Sula ran away to live her dreams and Nel got married. Ten years later Sula returns and no one, least of all Nel, trusts her. Sula is a story of fear – the fear that traps us, justifying itself through perpetual myth and legend. Cast as a witch by the people who resent her strength, Sula is a woman of uncompromising power, a wayward force who challenges the smallness of a world that tries to hold her down.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Tar Baby

Toni Morrison

BY THE NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING AUTHOR OF BELOVED

Into a white millionaire's Caribbean mansion comes Jadine, a sophisticated graduate of the Sorbonne, art historian – a black American now living in Paris and Rome. Then there’s Son, a criminal on the run, uneducated, violent, contemptuous – a young American black of extreme beauty from small-town Florida. As Morrison follows their affair, she charts all the nuances of obligation and betrayal between blacks and whites, masters and servants, and men and women.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

Toni Morrison

Biography

Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and Love. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction.