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Song of Solomon
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1001 book reviews > Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison

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Kristel (kristelh) | 3831 comments Mod
Read 2012
Toni Morrison deserves her accolades and Nobel Prize in Literature. What a gifted writer. Song of Solomon is a story of the Dead family and specifically Milkman Dead or Macon Dead III. It is set in Michigan but also covers Danville, Pennsylvania and Shalimar, Virginia. Milkman is the only son born to Ruth and Macon and brought about by a spell prescribed by his aunt Pilate. From Milkman’s conception it seems someone always wants him dead. The epigraph of the story is The novel's epigraph reads, "The fathers may soar/ And the children may know their names." This book explores the importance of names but also connecting with your family history and personal self awareness and growth. The story starts with Milkman’s birth with the “flight” of an insurance man from the hospital roof and the theme of flight is followed through the book as a means of escape. The use of flying as literal pushes this work into the magical realism genre. Names are very interesting in this book and have layers of meaning such as pealing an onion. Milkman’s aunt Pilate, named from the Bible’s Pilate is also significant for her role of piloting Milkman on his journey to self discovery. This novel is very rich in detail but also extremely readable and enjoyable. This book won the National Books Critics Award, was chosen for Oprah Winfrey's popular book club, and was cited by the Swedish Academy in awarding Morrison the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature.


Hilde (hilded) | 337 comments Great review, Kristel - I loved this novel!!


Jessica Haider (jessicahaider) | 124 comments It's been awhile since I've read something by Toni Morrison and I love most of what I've read by her. I'd previously read Beloved , The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Home. I was excited when I saw that one of the Reading Women 2020 Challenge tasks was to read a book by Toni Morrison. I picked Song of Solomon in part because (according to goodreads) it is the most popular Morrison book that I hadn't read yet.

This had everything I loved about Morrison: lyrical prose, magical realism, deep family connections, strong characters. The central character in this book is Milkman Dead. He travels from the city where he lives to the small town where his family traces their roots to. Throughout his journey and the course of the book we meet members of his family and others. Excellent story telling as usual from Morrison.


Amanda Dawn | 905 comments Tend to big a big fan of Toni Morrison, and this book was no exception. I gave it 4 stars. It's amazing how she's able to instill the sense of the biblical and the epic into stories of the 19th-20th century African American experience- especially in the context of people who would have been voiceless or overlooked as worth hearing from in their time.

In making all of these biblical allusions it not only lends the sense of importance and worth to the reader about these stories, but also lends a gravity to both the struggles and hard won successes of the characters.


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