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At once the ideal introduction to the legendary Nobel Prize winner and a lovely and moving keepsake for her devoted readers: a treasury of quotations from her work. With a foreword by Zadie Smith.
"She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truthteller." —Oprah Winfrey
This inspirational book juxtaposes quotations, one to a page, drawn from Toni Morrison's entire body of work, both fiction and nonfiction—from The Bluest Eye to God Help the Child, from Playing in the Dark to The Source of Self-Regard—to tell a story of self-actualization. It aims to evoke the totality of Toni Morrison's literary vision.
Its compelling sequence of flashes of revelation—stunning for their linguistic originality, keenness of psychological observation, and philosophical profundity—addresses issues of abiding interest in Morrison's work: the reach of language for the ineffable; transcendence through imagination; the self and its discontents; the vicissitudes of love; the whirligig of memory; the singular power of women; the original American sin of slavery; the bankruptcy of racial oppression; the complex humanity and art of black people. The Measure of Our Lives brims with elegance of style and mind and moral authority.
About the Author
Toni Morrison is the author of eleven novels, from The Bluest Eye (1970) to God Help the Child (2015). She received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She died in 2019.
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia, and two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.