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Toni Morrison in Conversation with Fran Lebowitz

November 12, 2008

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Nobel Prize recipient Toni Morrison uses fantasy, a sinuous poetic style, and a rich interweaving of the mythic in her writing to reveal the black American experience. She tells the stories of her characters and their struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity in an unjust society.

A Mercy, Morrison?s ninth novel, uncovers what lies beneath the surface of slavery in an ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother abandoning her daughter in order to save her. Like her novel Beloved, the story takes place in the American past. Set in the 17th century northeast when the slave trade was in its infancy, her characters provide a detailed look at the social environment of religious persecution and racial hatred, and the class distinction that allowed the institution of slavery to take root in the US.

Toni Morrison and Fran Lebowitz explore together how the broad strokes of history impact the personal choices of the individuals caught in history?s reach.

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photo of Toni Morrison by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and photo of Fran Lebowitz by Kelly Klein

About Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison has been the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her novels include Song of Solomon, Beloved, Paradise, and Love. She is the Robert F. Goheen Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Princeton University. She lives in Rockland County, New York, and Princeton, New Jersey.

 

   

 

About Fran Lebowitz

Fran Lebowitz is the author of the two critically acclaimed New York Times best-sellers Metropolitan Life and Social Studies and the children?s book Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas. She is also the author of the half-finished cult novel Exterior Signs of Wealth and the absolutely almost completed book-length essay Progress.