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Home by Toni Morrison

  1. 00
    Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead (Limelite)
    Limelite: Another war; another man; another exposure to atrocity; another wandering in body and spirit to find oneself, one's fraternal kin, and the meaning of home. Only vastly more brutal, beautiful and poetic.
  2. 00
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Louve_de_mer)
    Louve_de_mer: Pour les problèmes de ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis.
  3. 00
    Bright's Passage by Josh Ritter (Esther1987)
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» See also 70 mentions

English (50)  French (5)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  English (58)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I first came across Toni Morrison a few years ago when I read Beloved, a book that positively blew me away. Although I haven't read anything else by her since, picking up Home when I noticed it on sale was a no-brainer. I didn't realize my copy of the book came out of the printer's cut crooked, but I think it adds to the experience.

This book definitely succeeded in shocking me, someone who considers themselves a fairly well-informed European Americanophile. While I've read non-fiction literature like the maddeningly complacent Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washinton as well as Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, it still failed to register with me just how persistent such attitudes were across the entire country. Segregation was not just a southern thing. This isn't something I grasped from, say, Pynchon's V., which I'd argue draws attention away from the racial and social problems in order to focus on some kind of crisis of modernity. I bring this up because the PTSD-suffering protagonist sees "black flames shooting out of the V" of the logo of a Chevron station. Morrison clearly isn't Pynchon, but when your nose is singing from being pushed into flamey V-related imagery you can't help but make a connection.

The interaction between the global narrator and the Frank narrator is interesting, but I shouldn't spoil it. If you've read Beloved you kind of know the shtick, but it's different enough not to feel like repetition. In brief, Home is a story of broken people jerkily healing themselves, overcoming not only their shattered selves but also the malfunctioning society that made them. Recommended.

Cross-posted from my blog. ( )
  Frenzie | Jul 16, 2016 |
Read for ENG 316, Social Issues in Literature. ( )
  shulera1 | Jun 7, 2016 |
Oh my! What a beautifully told story. I could not put it down. Toni Morrison is an extremely talented writer and I think I may need to reread all of her books this summer. ( )
  kristina_brooke | Apr 15, 2016 |
I loved this book more than I have loved a book in a long time. There are so many things to discuss about this book that I choose it for my first Book Review at the Paris Public Library on October 4, 2012 at 6:30. This is a short book, so I invite you to read this and come.

I thought I was going to get a "vet returns home" book. I did get that, but so much more. Having grown up on a farm, and in small town, and in the south, this book evoked a lot of memories for me, except through the unique experience, voice and eyes of black men and women. This book reminds me in small ways of Huck Finn, The Color Purple, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It reminds me of stories I have heard right here in Paris, Texas. But most of all, it evokes the full-circle feeling of HOME. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
This is a book worth a deeper dig so I've reread it on my Kindle for its highlighting ability. I highly recommend Home to readers and classrooms. Below is a small bit of why I chose it to book review at the Paris Public Library (this Thursday at 6:30, hope you can join me), beginning with the opening quote:

“Whose house is this?
Whose night keeps out the light
In here? Say, who owns this house?
It’s not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter
With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats;
Of fields wide as arms open for me.
This house is strange. Its shadows lie.
Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?”

I don't know about you, but this resonates deep within me. It's the story of growing up, of finding yourself. Of finding out that home, for good or bad, has made a lasting impression on you, and, just maybe, you can reconcile yourself with that. Perhaps, on a grander scale, it is also a reconciliation to the awareness and owning of our country, good and bad.

I love the book for the imagery of the time that it invokes, and for the depth of each character that the author gives us. I love the use of many literary styles, and the fact that the book is still very accessible. I love the ending.

Here is the low down:

Frank is a Korean vet who was treated equally in the war but slips back into segregated America as it if it is still the norm, which is a good subtle shock for the modern reader, so far away from it. But Frank has bigger worries, mainly that he is haunted by the war. This book is the story of his quest to find his sister, and during his travels he finds himself. This is a very American theme, in the fashion of Mark Twain and Charles Frazier (Cold Mountain). Frank breaks through and speaks to the reader, and occasionally to the author; this is a highly effective, somewhat twisted, way to jar the reader out of the story itself and into deeper thought. Toni Morrison is skilled enough to pull it off.

Cee (Ycidra) is Frank's sister, who thinks that maybe she'd have learned to think for herself if Frank hadn't been there to constantly protect her. She is an accident waiting to happen, a consummate victim, although she doesn't try to be, so trouble finds her when Frank leaves for the war. She and Frank bind each other to this earth, and eventually save each other, once they learn their own self worth. Something in that reminds me of Celie in the Color Purple, and Cee's story is very much an American girl coming of age story, with the honest portrayal of the plight of the black woman.

There are other memorable characters, some snapshots, some deeper, and plenty of themes, all delivered in a punch at 160 pages on my Kindle. Morrison trueists don't like this book very much because it doesn't use the magical realism style that they all love. If that includes you, know that this is American realism fiction, and take the time to think deeper than the story. Ask yourself how the author is so talented to make us care in such a short time. Look at the wording and sentences, and see how she shows rather than tells. Search for all those little details that make the writing so good. Learn from a living legend, who makes you dissatisfied with the humdrum. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Like a Toni Morrison primer, Home is a compression of many of the Nobel laureate’s perennial themes of memory, love and loss, uprooting and homecoming. Morrison’s characters struggle to overcome disturbing inner rhythms, caught between trying to exist freely in the world and being captivated by internal demons....

Home does not have the grand, sweeping narrative of Morrison’s best fiction. The story’s many brutal acts... are placed before the reader with so little fanfare as to detract from their power.

The book is also much more linguistically subdued than most of her work, and her grand themes of redemption, homecoming, and self-ownership do not work best on a small scale. Still, slice it anywhere and you will find striking moments, dialogue that sings with life, and the mythic American landscape and its people surviving within it.
added by zhejw | editThe Telegraph, Lucy Daniel (May 24, 2012)
 
“Home” is unusual, not only in that it features a male protagonist but that it’s so fiercely focused on the problem of manhood. The novel opens with a childhood memory of horses that “stood like men.” And as Money makes his way across the country to rescue his sister, he’s haunted by what it means to be a man. “Who am I without her,” he wonders, “that underfed girl with the sad, waiting eyes?” Are acts of violence essentially masculine, or are they an abdication of manliness? Is it possible, the novel finally asks, to consider the manhood implicit in sacrifice, in laying down one’s life?

What Money eventually does to help his sister and to quiet his demons is just as surprising and quietly profound as everything else in this novel. Despite all the old horrors that Morrison faces in these pages with weary recognition, “Home” is a daringly hopeful story about the possibility of healing — or at least surviving in a shadow of peace.
added by zhejw | editWashington Post, Ron Charles (Apr 30, 2012)
 
[I]f Morrison had finished writing the novel she so carefully began, it might have been one of her best in years. But at well under 200 pages with wide margins, Home barely begins before it ends....

Home should be relentless, unsparing, but Morrison relents halfway through, and spares everyone – most of all herself.
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Sarah Churchwell (Apr 27, 2012)
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morrison, Toniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoekmeijer, NicoletteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Whose house is this?
Whose night keeps out the light
In here?
Say, who owns this house?
It's not mine.
I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter
With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats,
Of fields wide as arms open for me.
This house is strange.
Its shadows lie.
Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?
Dedication
Slade
First words
They rose up like men.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Ce petit roman envoûtant est une sorte de pierre de Rosette de l' œvre de Toni Morrison . Il contient en essence tous les thèmes qui ont toujours alimenté son écriture . Home est empreint d'une petite musique feutrée semblable à celle d'un quatuor , l'accord parfait entre pur naturalisme et fable .
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307594165, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2012: It takes only a page or two of Home, Toni Morrison’s finely wrought 10th novel, before you find yourself relaxing into the hands of a master. Nobody owns a sentence like Ms. Morrison. Completely at ease in her craft, she spins slender, lyrical prose around a Korean War vet named Frank Money, who retreats into violent memories to escape his fractured present; his sister, Cee, abandoned by her husband and abused by a medical experiment; and the racial, economic, and emotional oppression fostered by their era and situation. In the understated act of saving Cee--he walks calmly into a house and removes her--Frank brings both of them full circle. Nursed by the local women who watched her grow up, Cee emerges robust and newly aware and, as Frank puts it, “mended.” If you pay attention, Home may quietly do the same for you. --Mia Lipman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"The story of a Korean war veteran on a quest to save his younger sister"--

(summary from another edition)

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