Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. New York. 1977. Knopf. 339 pages. Jacket design by R. D. Scudellari. 0394497848. September 1977.




   Three years after her brilliantly acclaimed SULA, Toni Morrison gives us a novel of large beauty and power, creating a magical world out of four generations of black life in America. It is a world we enter in the present, through Macon Dead, Jr. , son of the richest black family in a Midwestern town. We enter it on the day of his birth, the day on which the lonely insurance man Robert Smith, poised in blue silk wings, attempts to fly from the steeple of the hospital, a black Icarus looking homeward. We see Milkman growing up in his father's money-haunted, death-haunted house with his silent sisters and strangely passive mother, and we watch him beginning to move outward - through his profound love and combat with his friend Guitar. through Guitar's mad and loving commitment to the band of seven, the secret avengers called the Seven Days. through Milkman's exotic and then imprisoning affair with his love-blind cousin, Hagar. and through his unconscious apprenticeship to the one person in his family who is open, unfettered, whole: the exiled one, his unkempt, mystical, bootlegging Aunt Pilate, with a brass box for an earring, with no navel, Pilate who looks like a tall black tree and who saved his life before he was born. And we follow him as he strikes out alone, drawn away from home by the promise of buried gold; moving first toward adventure and then - as the unspoken truth about his family and his own buried heritage announces itself - toward an adventurous and crucial embrace of life. This is a novel in which mystery unfolds on mystery, revelation on revelation - in which our vision of what we have seen turns, changes, and takes shape again, transformed. It is a novel expressing with passion, tenderness, and a magnificence of language the mysterious primal essence of family bond and conflict, the feelings and experience of all people wanting, and striving, to be alive.


Morrison ToniChloe Anthony Wofford Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987); she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison graduated from Howard University in 1953 and went to graduate school at Cornell University. She later taught English at Howard University and also married and had two children before divorcing in 1964. In the late 1960s, she became the first black female editor in fiction at Random House in New York City. In the 1970s and 1980s, she developed her own reputation as an author, and her perhaps most celebrated work, Beloved, was made into a 1998 film. In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Also that year, she was honored with the National Book Foundation's Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.






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