“In order for Morrison to take you seriously...you needed to demonstrate that language was a skill you had, that Black culture was known to you and respected by you.” — novelist A.J. Verdelle on Toni Morrison
Based on the work this week—the themes, tones, authors and language—they could all put their name in the hat to earn Toni Morrison’s respect. Whether it be fiction or nonfiction, the way the narratives are delivered are what makes these such good stories, regardless of what it’s about.
For example, Colson Whitehead’s Harlem Shuffle is a story about family values wrapped up in a hilarious crime story featuring sleazy cops, a furniture store and a robbery gone wrong. Tiffany D. Jackson’s long-awaited novel, White Smoke, follows Marigold as she attempts to escape the ghosts of her past but no matter how far or how long she runs, they always end up tripping her back up.
One of Toni Morrison’s friends and contemporaries Gayl Jones, has rereleased a novel after two decades. Jones’s Palmares follows a young slave as she escapes the Portuguese plantation she was raised on after she comes of age in search of her husband and his platoon. And while it won’t hit shelves until February, we can’t wait to read the tale the aforementioned A.J. Verdelle has to tell of her friendship with Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison) and how they pushed—and shoved—one another forward in the upcoming Miss Chloe.
Gabrielle Union’s second memoir You Got Anything Stronger? updates us on how life has evolved since becoming a mother to daughters, including the more difficult aspects of her unconventional journey. Union also discusses her life, career and newest book with Maiysha Kai, managing editor of The Glow Up in last week’s episode of The Root Presents: It’s Lit.