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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison

Critical and Theoretical Approaches

The cultural and political dimensions of the work of the 1993 Nobel Laureate in Literature.

The 1993 Nobel Laureate in Literature, Toni Morrison is well established as one of the leading voices in American letters. Even so, her novels are often read narrowly rather than expansively, read as literary artifacts rather than as dynamic cultural texts.

Without ignoring the literary and artistic achievements of Morrison's writing, Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches calls attention to the cultural and political dimensions of her work. Drawing on a diverse range of approaches and theories—from W. E. B. DuBois to deconstruction and postmodernism, from black feminist criticism to reader response—these essays investigate such timely issues as debates about canonization, about race and gender divisions in America, about the founding assumptions of African American identity.

Contributors: Barbara T. Christian, Marianne DeKoven, Dwight A. McBride, Patricia McKee, Richard C. Moreland, Toni Morrison, Rafael Perez-Torres, Nancy J. Peterson, James Phelan, Eusebio L. Rodrigues, Judylyn S. Ryan, Caroline M. Woidat

"These essays exemplify the kinds of issues being addressed in the nineties by scholars of Morrison and by the profession more broadly. The topics of the individual essays vary, but read together, they offer valuable insights into why Morrison has become a much celebrated, widely taught author."—from the Introduction