The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
Most people know Toni Morrison from her Nobel prize-winning fiction; books like The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Song of Solomon come to mind when we think of this preeminent woman of American letters. But it is her nonfiction, in all its strength and wisdom, that most stops the heart and catches the breath of her readers. Her latest book, The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations, is a gift to all who have read her before and to those just discovering her rich, honest, thoughtful voice.
From brief memorials, such as the one after September 11 that opens the book to lengthier studies on globalism, what it means to be an artist, and life as a black American, Morrison’s latest book reads like the best kind of coffee shop conversation. It is witty, deep, pensive, and empowering in its ability to ask readers to think about themselves and the world in which they live.
Perhaps my favorite piece in the book comes at the start of the latter third, a piece titled ‘God’s Language’ that delves into her process as a writer and the language used for paradise. She speaks to the power of words delivered from the pulpit that differs from the printed page, and in that separation, she finds a truth about storytelling that is as resonant as if God had decried it herself.
This book is study and service to the legacy of Toni Morrison and it is a must read for anyone and everyone who knows and loves this beautiful writer.
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