Friday, May 12, 2006

That's What I'm Talkin' Bout!

The New York Times is my homepage.

I glance over it every morning to see what's brewing. There is this new feature that lists the top ten emailed articles. The article in the #1 slot is an article entitled, "What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?" I click on it. The winner is...Beloved by Toni Morrison! The runners up are books by mainly white men. There is one white female and one black male author. All the rest are a combination of books by the same white men.

I am thrilled about this. I'm putting racial politics into this "artistic" decision...and I don't care. Toni Morrison is brilliant. Hands down. I finish her books and can't catch my breath because I am in awe that a human being created such beauty. That her novel was picked by her peers over the likes of Philip Roth and Don DeLillo is astounding to me.

Of course, the scholars will proclaim that race had nothing to do with it. That the best novel was chosen, despite the race of the author. To them I say...DAMN RIGHT THE BEST NOVEL WAS CHOSEN!

Then I say, race has everything to do with it. Toni Morrison has mentioned countless times that her experience as an black woman in this country has informed her writing. So one of the reasons that her book is the best is because she is an African-American woman! How wonderful is that!

I haven't read the essay by A. O. Scott yet, so I may have some addenda to this post, but I couldn't wait to scream this news from the rooftops!

P.S. When I first read the article, I yelled "wheuheu!" My good friend and colleague...who's a white male... in the next office asked me what the hubbub was. I told him Beloved was named the best novel in the last 25 years. He asked me, "What's Beloved?" I audibly sighed...loudly... and explained it to him. When I told him it was made into a mediocre movie, he got it. I sighed loudly again.

6 comments:

The Rover (aka K Lance) said...

Please don't hit me for the following statement:

I don't love Beloved.

I DO love Toni Morrison, however - I'll read Song of Solomon any day of the week. Or Bluest Eye. But Beloved...just didn't work for me.

However, I am thrilled that they recognized her - seems that too often "we" fall through the cracks.

L. Britt said...

I won't hit you, Rover. I feel that way about Jazz and Love. And Song of Solomon is my favorite too!

I'm thinking about sending the article to Miss Fire...what do you think? :)

Quel said...

That's awesome!

The Bluest Eye is one of my Toni Morrison favs. I haven't read Beloved, but I did see the movie. The book must be great. I'll have to experience the read one day.

m. said...

OK -- now I have to read "The Bluest Eye."

I love when a blog inspires me to do something new -- whether it be to read a new book, join habitat for humanity, or just write a comment expressing my thoughts.

THANKS FOR THE POST!

The Rover (aka K Lance) said...

That would be hiLARious...

Beebs said...

DO not send the article to Miss Firecracker- please let her time on this and all other sane person's blogs R.I.P

I have to say I am with Rover- I do not like Beloved. As much as I hate to add to the hegemony- I love Updike! But seriously- there are a lot of names missing from that list- where is Russel Banks, Sandra Cisneros, Joyce Carol Oates,Arhundati Roy, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt Haruki Murakami, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yan Martel(Life of Pi)???? I don't love all these people but where were they? There are a ton of other writers I would love to add but I know their obscurity omits them but these were writers!!! Why does Phillip Roth and Cormac what ever his name is get to monopolize things! So So so many. That list actually made me sad.