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Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club) by Toni…

Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club) (original 1978; edition 1987)

by Toni Morrison

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7,06178511 (4)322
Title:Song of Solomon (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Toni Morrison
Info:Plume (1987), Paperback, 337 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction. American.

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Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1978)


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The main character, Macon "Milkman" Dead III, derives his nickname from the fact that he was breastfed for far too long. A passing neighbor happens to see him through the window being breastfed by his mother. He is so tall by now his feet are "touching the floor" (one of his legs is a half inch shorter than the other). He quickly gains a reputation for being a "Mommy's boy" - this is in direct contrast to his best friend, Guitar.

Milkman has two sisters, "First Corinthians" and "Magdelene called Lena". The daughters of the family are named by putting a pin in the Bible; the males are named after their father. The name Macon Dead was the result of an administrative error when Milkman's grandfather had to register subsequent the end of slavery.

Milkman's mother (Ruth) is the Doctor's daughter; she tends to make her husband feel inadequate, and it is clear she idolized her father. After her father dies, her husband claims to have found her in bed with the dead body, sucking his fingers. Ruth later tells Milkman that she was kneeling at her father's bedside kissing the only part of him that remained unaffected by the illness from which he died. Macon is often violent and aggressive towards her out of frustration when she acts helpless, because he has worked hard to get to where he is, whereas Ruth has always been "daddy's little girl." However, on one occasion, Milkman punches his father after he strikes their mother.

In contrast, Macon Dead Jr.'s sister, Pilate, is seen as nurturing—an Earth Mother type of character. Born without a navel, she is somewhat of a mystical character. It is strongly implied that she is Divine—a female Christ (her name is ironic). Macon has not spoken to his sister for years and did not think highly of her. She, like Macon, has had to fend for herself from an early age, but she has dealt with her past in a different way. She has one daughter, Reba, and a granddaughter named Hagar. Hagar falls desperately in love with Milkman, and is unable to cope with his rejection. Guitar, Milkman's erstwhile best friend, tries to kill Milkman more than once after incorrectly suspecting he has of cheated him out of hidden gold.

The novel ends on a poignant and ambiguous note: after resolving to confront Guitar, Milkman finally learns to fly.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |

Eh. Had to read it for school and it didn't blow my mind or anything. ( )
  uhohxkate | Jan 31, 2016 |
I think this is my least favorite of Toni Morrison's books (that I've read) because it didn't connect for me very well. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
I think this is my least favorite of Toni Morrison's books (that I've read) because it didn't connect for me very well. ( )
  Jen.ODriscoll.Lemon | Jan 23, 2016 |
Song of Solomon is about the past, present, and future of an extended family whose ancestors were slaves.

This was not the least accessible of Morrison's books, but it wasn't the most accessible, either. It doesn't jump around a lot like some of her other books, but at the same time, it's not totally linear. I liked it for the most part, but the ending left me dissatisfied, and I'm not entirely sure why. As always, Morrison does make you think. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhagen, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The fathers may soar / And the children may know their names
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The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent promised to fly from Mercy to the other side of Lake Superior at three o'clock.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 140003342X, Paperback)

The third novel from one America's most powerful writers turns 20 years old in 1997, but Song of Solomon long ago ascended to the top shelf in the ranks of great literature. This Everyman's Library hardcover edition of the Nobel Prize-winning Morrison's lyrical, powerful, and erudite novel contains a chronology that situates the book in its historical context, and an introduction from author Reynolds Price.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:47 -0400)

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Four generations of black life in America.

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