Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize recipient and renowned award-winning author, continues to grace us with her uninhibited talent and literary presence with the release of her 11th novel, “God Help the Child.” Morrison tells the story of race, responsibility and self-acceptance, though a pain stricken child’s eyes, beginning the novel with the weighted words, “It’s not my fault, so you can’t blame me.”
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“I wanted to focus in this book about the confusion there is about race. This girl is abused by her mother because she born really black so I wanted her journey to be about becoming a three dimensional human being,” Morrison explains in a New York Times interview, where she reads short excerpts from her latest work.
The “Beloved” writer recently received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as an editor, author and professor (February 2015). Now 84, Morrison reflects on her life and career, and what truly motivated her to keep writing.
“I didn’t discover why I wrote until later, I came at it as, not a writer but a reader and such a story didn’t exist. Every little homely black girl was a joke or didn’t exist in literature and I was eager to read about a story where racism really hurts and can destroy you.”
From her first novel “The Bluest Eye” to “God Help the Child,” themes of race, expectations of conformity, family dynamics and societal restraints are present, but for Morrison, the reason behind her writing has much more to do with her personal freedom and freedom is what keeps her producing award-winning work.
“I know how to write forever. I don’t think I could have stayed here in the world if I did not have a way of thinking about it. It’s control. Nobody tells me what to do. It mine its free and it’s a way of thinking, it’s pure knowledge.”
“God Help the Child” is available on Amazon (currently yielding a four star customer rating) and with major book retailers.
[Below: Listen to Morrison read an excerpt from “God Help the Child”]