The Literary Genius of Toni Morrison

Joseph Luzzi – Bard College

What makes Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison one of the most powerful voices in recent American literature? How does her work connect to earlier masterpieces of the great African American literary tradition of writers like James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Frederick Douglass, and many others? Professor Luzzi’s presentation will focus on Toni Morrison’s extraordinary novel Beloved, exploring its profound insights into the legacy of slavery and race relations as well as its incandescently beautiful prose. Overall, we will discover how Morrison asks—and answers—some of the most challenging questions regarding American identity in a work that remains vitally essential to our understanding of the world today.