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Let's Discuss "Song of Solomon", by Toni Morrison

From an Amazon.com reviewer

 

With passion and a voice that sings with beautiful detail and magic, Toni Morrison's third novel, published in 1977, is a powerful tale that follows the lives of a black family and their friends living in a Michigan city. In 1931, Macon Dead III, later nicknamed Milkman, is prematurely brought into the world, the first black child born in Mercy Hospital, just after his mother witnesses the brief flight of a man determined to fly from the cupola of the hospital. Although the novel revolves around Milkman, the stories spun out from him embrace a wide variety of characters and experiences. Morrison explores the lasting stamp of slavery through the name of Macon Dead; the intimate culture of women through Pilate, Reba, and Hagar; the hunger for property and respectability through Milkman's father; the idea of one's "people" through those in the South who have not forgotten connections; the violence of civil rights through Guitar; and many more issues facing blacks of the times and today. Despite the resonance of history, this novel is ultimately about its people and their eagerly lived lives. Morrison plunges her readers into their hearts with a humanity and skill too few novelists possess. The result is a remarkably emotional and intelligent story that will stay with you for a long time.

Readers should not be intimidated by Morrison's Nobel Prize Winner status, as this novel, like most of her others, is written in startling but accessible language. You don't need an advanced degree (or even a specific race or gender) to slip into her magical prose. Her characters are real and fully realized, and feel like friends, even when you might want to shake them to their senses. Although some readers will be puzzled by the end, wanting perhaps the next sentence that explains it all, Morrison has included by her omission the real meaning of her book. Visit with it for a few moments before closing the cover.

I highly recommend this book for a wide range of readers, from high school students to adults. Even though it was written in the 1970's, its themes and characters still have relevance today. Morrison is one of the world's literary gifts, and should not be missed. THE SONG OF SOLOMON is one of her best novels

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  • John W.

    I gained more from this discussion than any other I have attended. A reader's perception of this book will depend, more than usual, on personal taste. The author raises important themes, but I didn't find her to be psychologically penetrating enough to be regarded in the first-tier of writers.

    June 7, 2013

    • Angie

      Although our discussion improved my perspective a bit, I still did not love the book (and possibly that is relative to other books that I have read by her). However, I encourage you to not give up on her as an author before reading at least one more book. I think she has a beautiful writing style; for me, that talent wasn't fully realized with this particular book.

      June 7, 2013

  • Angie

    I agree; the discussion was far beyond what I was expecting after reading the book, and I gained a new perspective. Haila, your point about the dreamlike/recollective quality of the narrative made me rethink her approach. And Suzy, even though we got to it at the end and probably could have spent a lot more time on it, I really appreciated you pointing out the cultural significance of the theme at that very particular point in time. Thanks for the great night; see you guys next month. :)

    June 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm so sorry I missed this discussion! I completely overlooked the copy of the book I set out to remind myself and went straight home. I hope I can make the next one.

    June 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I have to miss tomorrow night. I have an unexpected conflict.
    Enjoyed the book.

    June 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry! Loving the book, but now going out of town...

    June 5, 2013

  • Haila

    Sorry - I just realized I have a conflict I don't want to skip. Interesting book though.

    June 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sorry to miss again. will push to get there next time

    May 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope I can't make it, because then my daughter will be in the State tournament, but otherwise looking forward to it.

    May 22, 2013

6 went

  • John W.
    Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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