Toni Morrison Speaks Against Iraq War and Vet Suicides

The author read to West Point students from her novel, Home, about PTSD and the results of war.

Toni Morrison (Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)
Toni Morrison (Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images)

Toni Morrison visited West Point on Friday where she read from her latest novel, Home, The book is the story of a black man named Frank Money, a Korean War veteran trying to re-assimilate into American society while struggling with PTSD, reports the New York Times.

In a telephone interview beforehand, she explained that she didn’t rely on medical textbooks or interviews in researching “Home,” but rather drew on David Halberstam’s book “The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War” for “its descriptions of the scenery and the weather, especially the brutal cold.” In addition, she found inspiration in an “image of a shellshocked veteran from my hometown, who walked up and down the streets in military garb, shouting.”

Ms. Morrison has been outspoken about her opposition to recent American military interventions; however, she accepted the invitation to West Point immediately. “I am a resident of a Hudson River town and consider myself a neighbor,” she told the audience at the reading. “I’ve sailed by West Point but I’ve never been here. I was thinking I should sail up here today but I just drove.”

During the interview Ms. Morrison said she was concerned about the number of suicides by veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. “I dare you to tell me a sane reason we went to Iraq,” she said.

Read more at the New York Times.

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