TCNJ Magazine - Winter 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 51

22 The College of New Jersey Magazine 1 The Toni Morrison Book Club (UWisconsin Press) hit book- stores in February. The authors will speak at Labyrinth Books in Princeton on March 5 at 6 p.m. 2 The authors (see bios, page 5) limited themselves to just four of Toni Morrison's novels: Beloved, The Bluest Eye, A Mercy, and Song of Solomon. 3 Publishers Weekly also gave the book a starred review for its "vast intellectual riches," while Kirkus described the book as "a moving meditation on race." make compelling reading when authors are willing to take risks. ¶ More than two years ago, four professors started meeting off-campus as "readers and friends, talking about novels and our lives." Like a book club, in other words. Except it was far from a typical club. ¶ First, everyone had a PhD: Juda Bennett, Cassandra Jackson, Piper Kendrix Williams from the Department of English, and Winnifred "Winnie" Brown-Glaude from sociology and African-American studies. ¶ Second, they chose to center their discussion on Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, best known for capturing the complexities of the black experience in America. "How do her novels — embedded as they are in history — speak to us now?" they asked. "How can her words illuminate the problems of everyday racism and guide us toward healthy responses and greater clarity?" Acknowledging Morrison's fervor for truth-telling, they disclosed often difficult secrets about their own experiences around issues of race, prejudice, and identity. ¶ Then they created The Toni Morrison Book Club. Booklist gave it a starred review, calling it " a beautiful homage to Morrison's legacy, and a light on all the work there is left to do." ¶ Cultural critic Roxane Gay spoke with them in November via Skype. The edited discussion follows, interspersed with excerpts from the memoir. Secrets Behind the book

Articles in this issue

view archives of TCNJ - TCNJ Magazine - Winter 2020