Toni Morrison’s Secret Drive

A Reader-Response Study of the Fiction and Its Rhetoric


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About the Book

The late Toni Morrison was the first African American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. A powerful writer, she wove stories depicting the largely overlooked Black experience in America and exploring the intersection of gender and race through the lives of Black women. Morrison’s writing continues to move people and push readers to reassess their beliefs about what it means to be Black in America.
Synthesizing some 250 scholarly works about Morrison’s writing, this book examines eight novels as well as the short story “Recitatif.” They are analyzed for techniques used to deepen meaning and emotional weight, and reveal Morrison’s mastery over prose.

About the Author(s)

David S. Goldstein is a teaching professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell, and former director of its Teaching and Learning Center.

Shawnrece D. Campbell is an associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and founding director of its bachelor degree completion program in Organizational Leadership.

Bibliographic Details

David S. Goldstein and Shawnrece D. Campbell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7937-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4109-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Foreword by Helane Adams Androne 1
Preface 7
Introduction 11
1. “Recitatif” 23
2. The Bluest Eye 46
3. Song of Solomon 71
4. Beloved 87
5. Paradise 114
6. Home 126
7. Sula, Tar Baby and A Mercy 140
Conclusion 157
Chapter Notes 169
Works Cited 177
Index 187

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An important book on Toni Morrison’s fiction, and required reading for all serious students of her work.”—Philip Page, author of Dangerous Freedom: Fusion and Fragmentation in Toni Morrison’s Novels