Song of Solomon
"He walked there now--strutted is the better word, for he had a high behind and an athlete' stride--thinking of names. Surely, he thought, he and his sister had some ancestor, some lithe young man with onyx skin and legs as straight as cane stalks, who had a name that was real. A name given to him at birth with love and seriousness. A name that was not a joke, nor a disguise, nor a brand name." - Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
There’s so much to say about this book. Someone described it as ...more
There is something miraculous about the past that the future lacks. All nations, maybe even the whole mankind, have managed to transform thousands and millions of particular fictions created by individual beings ...more
This is the fifth Toni Morrison book I’ve read (after Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Home and Sula), and I think of these five, Song of Solomon is the one that asks the most of its reader. It’s not a book that enchants immediately. The characters – at least in the beginning – ...more
"You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why ...more
There's something to be said for stories. Beyond all the talk of clichés, the bemoaning of stereotypes, the intricate and obsessive breakdown of the latest wave of hyped-up mass media extravaganza that has managed to aggressively worm its way into the mob conscience. Beyond the deep-seated resignation at puzzle-piece popularity.
I don't have anything against the forthright advocates of analysis at all levels of fiction. Far from it. I simply believe that there is a time when one is able to ...more
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
I liked all of it and loved much of it. It is an amazing piece of literature with beautifully realized characters. Originally, I felt this book was on par with The Bluest Eye, but still not as strong as Beloved. I now think they are ALL great Morrison novels. The further I get from this book, the bigger and the bolder the shadow it casts. I love how Morrison writes and how she juggles big themes ...more
I'll post some specfic 2019 thoughts soon, but in the mean time, my thoughts from my initial read in February of 2018 is below.
I felt enlightened. I felt like shit. All without feeling very invested.
I found Song of Solomon more accessible than I had anticipated and I had a cracking good time reading it for the most part. The characters and dialogue really sing (;) and there are some startlingly good set pieces that are emblazoned in my ...more
“Fly and mercy,” Toni Morrison writes in the foreword of this book. “Both terms are central to the narrative: flight as escape or confrontation; mercy the unspoken wish of the novel’s population.”
Flight as a theme was abundantly clear to me at first read: Pilate, the shunned woman without a navel, who uses flight as a means of survival; Macon Dead, her money-conscious brother ...more
For years I have heard Morrison's name float around, all the praises of how she approaches important social issues through a historical lens and I was so excited when I finally got my hands on this book.Following a black middle-class family through a pivotal moment in America history, we zoom in and explore the complex interactions with each other and the community. Through the last born's perspective, the reader uncovers some dark unsettling secrets that have haunted the family for generations...more
This beautifully written book about a black family living in Michigan has a little of everything - magic, ghosts, eccentrics, murderers, lovers, and more.
Jumping back and forth in time. it tells the story of Milkman Dead, who after growing up indulged and self-centered in a northern, industrial city comes to discover something of his ancestry and roots in the rural south. A fascinating story filled with wonderful interesting characters.
Highly recommended to fans of literary fiction. ...more
And the children may know their names”
~ Epigraph, ‘Song Of Solomon’
When you open a novel by Toni Morrison you know you will be transported to a world of her own unique invention. You will be asked to suspend logic. You will be hypnotized by remarkable prose. You will gape and squirm. “Milkman” Dead. Not Doctor Street. A man with purple wings. A woman with no navel. The Seven Days of an eye for an eye. Ghosts and gold and murder. A story about flight (both mystical and real), ...more
I imagine the words "modern day epic", "lyrical", "moving, affecting" as the book blurbs for this book seeing that the Modern Library edition of this book I had borrowed from the library didn't have any. Words that would attempt to summarize the experience of reading this incredible book.
Milkman, the protagonist of the story, is the son of an upper-class Black family. Having lived in a state of privilege and generally well off ...more
In "Song of Solomon", Morrison puts a lot before the reader and revels in paradoxes. Her characters are startingly unique but also archetypal. Her treatment of racial identity is both specific and universal. And her ...more
But the plot of this book didn't grab me. I remember enjoying ...more
This really surprises me, because as Morrison notes herself in the foreword, her narratives usually focus on women in a domesticated ...more
Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best ...more