“No one alive in the United States knows the rasp and music of the American vernacular so well,” John Freeman says of novelist Toni Morrison.
It’s a bold claim, but a fair one: Morrison has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, won a Pulitzer for Beloved, and was the first African American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. And it’s not nothing that Oprah Winfrey has chosen four of Morrison’s novels—Song of Solomon, Paradise, The Bluest Eye, and Sula—as book club picks. Believe us: those are tough picks to land.
This is the second in a three-part installment from Parade featuring selections from How to Read a Novelist. (In case you missed it, the first one was John’s interview with John Irving.) They’re rolling out the last piece tomorrow, and it’s a good one.
Oh, and speaking of winners of the Nobel Prize, very big congratulations to Alice Munro, who won the award this morning.