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Toni MorrisonMemory and Meaning$
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Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460193

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Trying to Get Home

Trying to Get Home

Place and Memory in Toni Morrison’s Fiction

(p.53) Trying to Get Home
Toni Morrison

Cheryl A. Wall

University Press of Mississippi

From The Bluest Eye to Home, Toni Morrison’s novels take up the subjects of place and displacement, home and homelessness, belonging and exile, memory and loss. Readers are always invited to bring whatever knowledge they have to the scene. Morrison’s later novels evoke places that are described with verisimilitude yet inscribe spiritual cartographies (as in Paradise), and maps of places at once alluring and evanescent. In these places readers are forced to confront what Morrison calls “vulnerable humanity,” the selves that exist in her fiction beneath ideologies of race, selves that could exist in the world if readers summoned her domesticated race-free paradise into being. Although the essay draws its illustrations from a range of novels, it focuses on The Bluest Eye and Home. One rule, however, is consistent: if the scene is to come alive, readers are compelled to make their own imaginative acts in response to the worlds that the text creates. (151 words)

Keywords:   The Bluest Eye, Home, Paradise, exile, memory

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