The Korean War is over, and a damaged young veteran named Frank tries to make his way back to the South where his sister is dying. Home
, the newest work from Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, recounts this story through the moment-by-moment lives of Frank, his sister, Cee, his grandmother and his girlfriend. The past looms large, and the characters' current lives are mostly unhappy. Terrible things have happened to all of them, but that's not what matters, at least not in the long run. Life will never be anything but a shapeless series of events until Frank, Cee and the others stop simply reacting and start deciding for themselves who they are and what they want.
is very short - a novella rather than a novel - and the details are sketchy. It gives the impression of something boiled down to its essence, nothing extraneous. Morrison focuses on the internal...
Beyond the Book
, Cee learns to quilt while recovering from a near-fatal run-in with a doctor who used poor, black women as experimental subjects in his research. After returning to her hometown, her neighbors keep her company in her sickroom and, with their help, she makes her first quilt. She also starts to put together the broken pieces of her life to make something she can call her own and be proud of.
I am not a quilter. I'm fascinated by patterns and mosaics, but the sewing part of the equation has kept me from diving in. However, I did live with a dedicated quilter for a while, and watching her piece together those beautiful quilts was fascinating and humbling. Making something beautiful and functional from scraps is a wonderful metaphor, and appears in a bunch of...