Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations” as Want to Read:
The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  2,076 ratings  ·  308 reviews
Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark.
...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Knopf Publishing Group
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Source of Self-Regard, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Iosephvs Bibliothecarivs Comparing this book' s table of contents in the Amazon preview with Penguin Australia's description of Mouth Full of Blood (https://bit.ly/2Xtcnrp), i…moreComparing this book' s table of contents in the Amazon preview with Penguin Australia's description of Mouth Full of Blood (https://bit.ly/2Xtcnrp), it does appear that they are the same.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,076 ratings  ·  308 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
Joshunda Sanders
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally published for Bitch Media on February 12, 2019:
https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/to...

Toni Morrison began writing her seminal debut novel, The Bluest Eye, more than 40 years ago as a way to cure her own loneliness. “I never planned to be a writer,” she told Jane Bakerman in a 1978 interview in Black American Literature Forum. “I was in a place where there was nobody I could talk to and have real conversations with. And I think I was also very unhappy. So I wrote then,
...more
Julie Christine
Exquisite with wisdom, grace, vulnerability and compassion, like all of Toni Morrison's work. I am in awe of this writer's mind, her work ethic, the way she brings the intensity and power of jazz into the written word. She is this nation's greatest literary treasure.

Oh. I posted this only an hour or so before learning of her death. My heart just breaks.
Michael Finocchiaro
This is a wonderful collection of Toni Morrison's writing, primarily in speeches given at various functions. Admittedly, some of the themes are repetitive and we don't necessarily have the context in which she is speaking, but her words always have such power and beauty. What I really enjoyed was when she was writing about her own books, about how she writes, and about the influences on her writing. It was all so passionate and interesting. I certainly got new insights into her first 7 novels. S ...more
Teresa
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Toni Morrison is one of my favorite writers, one of the select few I wanted to read as soon as a new novel came out. I should’ve read her nonfiction sooner; it was such a pleasure to be among her words again. If I have one quibble about this collection, it’s that there’s one piece almost exactly the same as one that preceded it. But then anything she’s written deserves to be reread.

I was thrilled getting her take on other writers, especially Melville, with her giving credit to Michael Rogin's sc
...more
B. P. Rinehart
I didn't think I would be reading this book so relatively soon. I've not read as much of her novels as I wanted and I wanted my own copy of this book over a library copy--this will definitely merit a re-read where I can sit with it a little more. So this will be my "abridged" overview.

One thing that can be said about Toni Morrison is that she has no time for modesty and all the time for hubris. She's the athlete that trash-talks, but can back it up with skill: a literary Muhammad Ali (whose auto
...more
Mehrsa
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not really a fighting person, but I will fight anyone who pretends that Toni Morrison is not the greatest American writer of all time. Seriously, meet me outside.

I read Beloved for the first time the summer after high school and it just stunned me. I had not believed that such craft and poetry were possible. I kept thinking--did she know that she was linking up all these images and words? Did she intend to create this beauty or was it just inspiration? I've never been the same and I've neve
...more
Allison Thwaites
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
You ever read a book that made you feel smart as hell? Hahaha! My vocabulary has expanded, my face is clear and my edges are being so respectful.

What I liked - Toni Morrison just knows how to make you feel lost in her words. If I ever took one of her classes, I would never be bored. She speaks about art and language (and many other topics of course) in such an informative and riveting way. There were some essays in this book that made me want to photocopy them and hand them out to people to read
...more
Kathleen
This has to be one of the most inspiring books I have ever read.

“I claimed the right and the range of authorship. To interrupt journalistic history with a metaphorical one; to impose on a rhetorical history an imaginistic one; to read the world, misread it; write and unwrite it. To enact silence and free speech. In short to do what all writers aspire to do. I wanted my work to be the work of disabling the art versus politics argument; to perform the union of aesthetics and ethics.”

Just look at
...more
GONZA
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This can be considered the Summa theologica of Toni Morrison's opinion about almost everything, from politic, to racism, feminism, and so on. I would only recommend, as it is a collection of essays, not to read them all together, because sometimes, of course , there are repetitions, but I think it can be a very enlightening book.

Questo volume potrebbe essere considerato la Summa theologica del pensiero di Toni Morrison, anche perché, essendo una collezione di saggi, lei parla a largo raggio prat
...more
Tori
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I marked down almost every chapter as a reading that should be included into a syllabus or recommended to certain people. I am already planning on rereading this book within the month. Toni Morrison is a goddess and deserves all of the praise in the world for her graceful and honest words. Please put this book on the top of your reading list. You will not regret it.
Elizabeth
as i was reading this book of essays i kept coming back to the fact that toni Morrison is a true intellectual. i had not read or heard her eulogy for james baldwin. SO GOOD. i might have done some crying.

recommended.
Eleanor
A collection spanning forty years that has either been ill-edited or not edited at all. Editing Morrison might be intimidating–she won the Novel Prize, ffs–but that, particularly with established authors, is what publishers are for. The collection has been arranged so as to make it embarrassingly obvious that Morrison often recycles whole paragraphs from one public speaking engagement to the next–and you know what, everyone does that, it’s neither unexpected nor a crime–but when at least three e ...more
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
It took me nearly a month to read this collection of essays. It's not an easy book to read, as there is no timeline to follow. And many of the observations are repetitive, but are explored in different aspects. There are lots of subjects that Toni delves deep into: writing, race, politics, feminism...... Some more jarring than others, but it goes without saying that she tackles them with style and grace. Toni Morrison is one of the GOAT writers. I think ever person on this earth can learn a lot ...more
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This has been the perfect read to slowly make my way through, an essay or so every read. It also made the perfection compassion read to my year of reading Morrison’s fiction in publication order, her commentary on her own books was incredible to read about, as were her thoughts on all manner of wide-ranging topics. Needless to say my copy has book darts and tabs all over it, and will be re-read many times over years to come I suspect. Morrison’s wisdom was truly a balm to read during the pandemi ...more
Camelia Rose
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Source of Self-Regard is a wonderful collection of essays by Toni Morrison. The articles are organized chronologically, some written 30 years ago, some recently before her passing, yet equally sharp, relevant and powerful, the essays on race, Black American culture, American history (slavery), and female liberation especially so.

Toni Morrison also discusses the role of the artist in society, the making and remaking of the so-called American Literature Canon. I confess I haven't read Toni Mo
...more
W. D. Herstun
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.

LOVED it.

But y'all.

Toni makes my head hurt. Like. She kicked my aaaahhhh. Smh, I learned so much I may need a new reading journal.

😒 I'm reading something raunchy in secret to get over this situation.

... That is all.

(must read if you are writer though. She really deserved her Nobel Prize in Literature. I knew she was writing art but I didn't know-know. Now I know. 🤷🏾‍♀️💪🏾🚀)
Tony
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book requires, necessitates multiple readings.
David Curry
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish an editor or someone else had persuaded Toni Morrison to change the title of her selected essays, speeches and meditations: The Source of Self-Regard. Occasionally reading it in public places, I was embarrassed to think that anyone might assume I was reading the latest book intended for the bloated New Age and self-help section of an airport bookstore. That title isn’t helped by the boring front cover of the dust jacket, for which a designer is unaccountably credited even though the “desi ...more
Sara
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Toni Morrison is obviously a brilliant writer, and I have loved many of her novels, but this compendium of essays and speeches isn’t great. She, not unexpectedly, reuses parts of speeches over and over again, and so it can get really repetitive and confusing (wait, did I read this before?). I love hearing her talk about her writing, and enjoyed her critiques of other literature, but I think her political essays are less effective. But overall it just felt like a disorganized jumble, not this wri ...more
Andy Lillich
As a devoted fiction reader, I found these incisive, short non-fiction pieces to be pretty much over my head. So I took this one back to the library and brought home Pam Houston's new memoir, Deep Creek, which is much more in my non-fiction comfort zone.

This is not to say that I didn't find The Source of Self-Regard to be most excellent - just that it was much more work than I care to do, now that my grad school days are well behand me. Perfect book - for the right reader.
Victoria
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, faves
fucking banger
Britt
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I first encountered Toni Morrison's work as a child when I was sneaking to watch HBO with my cousins and Beloved was playing. I have tried many a time to complete just one of her works and I finally did it. She is just so precise, thoughtful and masterful and I loved every minute of this collection. It truly has proven to me why it is imperative that I continue to try and try again when it comes to reading her published works.
Yanira
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A few years ago, I made it all the way to the top of Bear Mountain in upstate NY. The minute I got up there, I felt like a sudden entrapment took hold of me. How could I be in one of the most open of places and feel so constricted. But then I recognized the feeling: pure overwhelming feelings. That is what Toni Morrison’s nonfiction does to my brain.
Rachel Green
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, black
What a gift. What a gift Toni Morrison was. I mean, I didn't have to read this book to know that Toni Morrison was a gift, but it just cemented it. How else do you characterize this magnificent set of essays over so many topics that show the care and intensity Morrison poured into writing what she called race-specific and race-free prose? Or a set of essays that critically examines the "Africanistic" presence in American art, African-American art both alone and in relation to other American art, ...more
Monica Kim: Reader in Emerald City
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A writer’s life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are a necessity.” — Toni Morrison, “The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
.
.
I read it somewhere few years ago that Ms. Morrison signed a contract to write a memoir, but later withdraw from the contract because she thought her life wasn’t interesting enough for a book. If you know anything about her life (who doesn’t?), you are probably as shocked as I am. After finishing Ms. Morrison’s “The Source of Self-Reg
...more
Lindsay Loson
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
"Literature allows us - no, demands of us - the experience of ourselves as multidimensional persons. And in so doing is far more necessary than it has ever been."


3.5
Toni Morrison is one of the best writers of this generation, and though this was a more difficult and taxing read, I learned a lot from it. I also feel the need to say that I enjoy Morrison's fiction a lot more than I enjoyed her academic writing. I often felt myself tuning out, especially when a lot of these essays and short s
...more
Marcos
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Writing the reading involves seduction-luring the reader into environments outside the pages".

And so it is this line that partly ends "The Source of Self-Regard", written by the late, great Professor Toni Morrison. Reading this collection of eulogies, anecdotes, interviews, speeches give the reader an insight of one of the most brilliant writers who has lived, and sees how at first hand, that race and blackness are social constructs that beg to be viewed as one that is harmful and destructive,
...more
Sophfronia Scott
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I consider this book lessons in assertiveness. Morrison had a very specific way of thinking about herself and her writing and she is unapologetic in laying out that thinking across these speeches and essays written and delivered over the course of several years. In a writing scene that is all too full of fear and angst I found her words refreshing and inspiring. I will miss her fierce presence in the world.
Angelique
I find it hard to give it less than 4 stars, because it's Toni Morrison. But man, these needed to be edited. It was a clunky collection of everything she had in a drawer and at times, too academic to be enjoyed. But I liked the insight into her books.

It kinda bothered me how much she used ameliorate. And some of the essays repeat themselves.

Saying that, I liked it ok.
Lizzie
There was a lot of recycling of old essays and sentences so i feel that some tighter editing would have made it better. But still some excellent sources of wisdom from Morrison.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count - The Source of Self-Regard 2 11 Apr 24, 2020 07:18PM  
Go On Girl! Book...: About the Book 4 3 Feb 29, 2020 12:00PM  
Go On Girl! Book...: About Toni Morrison 2 3 Feb 01, 2020 02:34PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches
  • Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
  • Freedom Is a Constant Struggle
  • Thick: And Other Essays
  • Finna: Poems
  • Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance
  • How to Be an Antiracist
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
  • The Tradition
  • Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
  • Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday
  • How We Fight For Our Lives
  • Cinderella Liberator
  • Navigate Your Stars
  • Intimations
  • I.M.: A Memoir
See similar books…
13,011 followers
Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) was an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k
...more

Articles featuring this book

This February, we're honoring Black History Month by looking at some new and upcoming books we're excited to read by authors of...
116 likes · 26 comments
“Don’t let anybody, anybody convince you this is the way the world is and therefore must be. It must be the way it ought to be.” 10 likes
“A writer's life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity.” 9 likes
More quotes…