Jain's Reviews > Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination

Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrison
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Sep 10, 2011

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bookshelves: 2010-reads, american-literature, non-fiction, poc-author, northamerican, female-author
Read in September, 2010

Morrison's thesis is that American literature is indelibly shaped by blackness as a metaphor, created out of writers' experiences living in a nation with a sizable and sociopolitically significant black population, and that this metaphor is a powerful force even in works with no African American characters. It's an intriguing topic that would have benefited from a much longer and more detailed examination than this book provides.

I was also disappointed that Morrison didn't discuss or even gesture towards the presence of non-white and non-African Americans and what influence their existence might have had on the "literary imagination."
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