Morrison gave this interview with Mavis Nicholson for British television in 1988, shortly after the publication of Beloved. This 22-minute video offers students a fuller understanding of the context in which Morrison wrote, including details about her writing process and her perspective on Beloved.
Written by Casey Nichols for the online reference center Black Past, this short essay recounts the real-life story of Margaret Garner, an escaped slave who killed her two-year-old daughter and attempted to kill her three other children to prevent their return to slavery. Garner inspired the character of Sethe in Beloved.
Produced by the Library of Congress, this interactive historical exhibit traces the “African American odyssey” in the United States from the period of slavery, through reconstruction, and through the mid-twentieth-century fight for civil rights.
In this sample from the audiobook version of Beloved, Morrison herself reads the opening pages of the novel.
In celebration of the novel’s thirtieth anniversary, the book culture website Lit Hub published this visual essay that compiles 75 different covers from U.S. and international editions of the novel. The essay gives a sense of how widespread the influence of Morrison’s work has been around the world.
In this article written in 2006 for Slate magazine, Stephen Metcalf reconsiders the literary importance of Beloved. Metcalf begins by paying tribute to the novel’s legacy and fame, but then provocatively asks: Yes, but is it any good? His answer is resolutely “yes,” and his essay encourages us to consider the experience of reading the novel rather than its fame alone—however justified.
This op-ed, written by Hilton Als, appeared in The New Yorker soon after Toni Morrison died in August 2019. Als’s essay pays tribute to Morrison’s legacy in American and African American letters. It also provides an important perspective on the late author’s significance within the American literary scene.
This 40-minute segment produced by Democracy Now features interviews with three significant Black women writers and thinkers, each of whom reflects on her relationship with Morrison as well as Morrison’s legacy. The segment also includes the trailer for a documentary titled Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.
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