The Origin of Others

Category: Book
By (author): Coates, Ta-Nehisi
By (author): Morrison, Toni
Series: Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
Subject:  NON-FICTION / General
  PHILOSOPHY / Social
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Published: September 2017
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 136
Size: 7.20in x 4.70in x 0.40in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid?

Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity inThe Origin of Others. In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books-Beloved,Paradise, andA Mercy.

If we learn racism by example, then literature plays an important part in the history of race in America, both negatively and positively. Morrison writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative. Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.

From The Publisher*What is race and why does it matter? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid? America's foremost novelist reflects on themes that preoccupy her work and dominate politics: race, fear, borders, mass movement of peoples, desire for belonging. Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Toni Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.
Biographical NoteToni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and a Pulitzer Prize. She is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, at Princeton University.