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The origin of others

by Morrison, Toni,

Format: Print Book 2017
Availability: Available at 15 Libraries 15 of 17 copies
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CLP - East Liberty Non-Fiction Collection PS173.N4 M667 2017x
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CLP - Hill District African American PS173.N4 M667 2017x
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CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection PS173.N4 M667 2017x
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Coraopolis Memorial Library Non-Fiction 810.9 MOR
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Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 810.9 M88
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Robinson Library Non-Fiction 810.9 MORRISON
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Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 810.9 MOR 2017
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Summary

America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid?

Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others . In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books-- Beloved , Paradise , and A Mercy .

If we learn racism by example, then literature plays an important part in the history of race in America, both negatively and positively. Morrison writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative. Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.

Contents
Foreword / by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Romancing slavery
Being or becoming the stranger
The color fetish
Configurations of blackness
Narrating the other
The foreigner's home.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Nobel laureate Morrison, long known for her penetrating exploration of race in the U.S., continues that examination with essays derived from a lecture series at Harvard. Morrison draws on personal experiences, diaries of slave masters and the former enslaved, scientific studies, and literature from Hemingway to Conrad to Camara Laye. Morrison explores how cultures, societies, and individuals develop the notion of the Other, the reasons for it, the perceived benefits of distinguishing based on what many insist are racial traits despite the slipperiness of concepts of race. Morrison reviews her own body of work and that of others in her journey as a writer and black woman and her evolution from creating racially identifiable characters to efforts to remove racial identifiers from her fiction. She notes that writing non-colorist literature about black people is a task I have found both liberating and hard. In this slim volume, Morrison shares again her enormous talent for examining the complexity of race and racial identity, the inhumanity that results from othering a fellow human being, the justifications for cruelty that has resulted in romanticized images of slavery and oppression, and how the perversity of racism reverberates through centuries. Ta-Nehisi Coates' foreword provides context for Morrison's analysis of the current political climate.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Based on the 2016 Charles Norton Lecture series at Harvard University, the latest work of nonfiction by Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Morrison analyzes the language of race and racism and the classification of people into dehumanizing racial categories in American culture. "The necessity of rendering a slave a foreign species appears to be a desperate attempt to confirm one's own self as normal," she writes, and draws on numerous examples from history and literature that expose the psychological work of "othering." Two particularly chilling instances of this dehumanization come from the 19th century: Southern physician Samuel Cartwright's invention of an illness he called "drapetomania" that he used to account for why slaves ran away, and planter Thomas Thistlewood's diary entries describing the callous rape of slaves with the cold detachment of scientific notation. Morrison also shows the ways white authors romanticized slavery in fiction, pointing to the scene from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin where Tom and Chloe's slave children happily eat under the table. She includes discussions of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, Flannery O'Connor's "The Artificial Nigger," and many of her own novels. Lyrically written and intelligently argued, this book is on par with Morrison's Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination and The Black Book. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series Charles Eliot Norton lectures ; 2016.
Subjects African Americans in literature.
Blacks in literature.
Race in literature.
Racism in literature.
Literature, Modern -- History and criticism.
Identity (Psychology)
Belonging (Social psychology)
Population transfers.
Globalization.
United States -- Race relations -- History.
Publisher Cambridge, Massachusetts :2017
Contributors Coates, Ta-Nehisi, writer of foreword.
Language English
Description xvii, 114 pages ; 19 cm.
ISBN 9780674976450
0674976452
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