Recitatif: short story written by Toni Morrison

 Recitatif: short story written by Toni Morrison

Recitatif short story written by Toni Morrison

WHO's Toni Morrison?

Toni Morrison, born on February 18, 1931, and passed away on August 5, 2019, was an acclaimed American novelist, essayist, editor, and professor. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential and significant writers of the 20th century.

Morrison was born as Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain, Ohio. She attended Howard University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in English and later pursued a master's degree in English at Cornell University. Throughout her career, she held teaching positions at various universities, including Texas Southern University, Howard University, Yale University, and Princeton University.

Morrison's writing is known for its poetic language, rich symbolism, and exploration of themes such as race, identity, memory, and the African American experience. Her novels often depict the struggles and triumphs of black characters, shedding light on the complexities of racism, oppression, and cultural heritage.

Some of Toni Morrison's most notable works include "The Bluest Eye" (1970), "Sula" (1973), "Song of Solomon" (1977), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, "Beloved" (1987), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and "A Mercy" (2008). She received numerous accolades and honors throughout her career, including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, making her the first African American woman to receive this prestigious award.

Toni Morrison's contributions to literature extend beyond her own writings. She was also an influential editor, working at Random House for many years, where she played a pivotal role in promoting and publishing works by African American writers.

Morrison's literary achievements and her commitment to exploring the complexities of race, history, and identity have left a profound impact on the literary world and continue to resonate with readers worldwide.

Toni Morrison Recitatif summary:

"Recitatif" is a short story by Toni Morrison that explores the themes of race, memory, and friendship. The story follows the lives of two girls, Twyla and Roberta, who meet as children in a shelter for orphaned and neglected children called St. Bonaventure.

Twyla and Roberta come from different racial backgrounds, but their races are intentionally left ambiguous throughout the story. This ambiguity serves to highlight how racial perceptions and prejudices can shape relationships and memories.

As the girls grow up, they experience several incidents that reflect the racial tensions of the time. They attend a racially divided school, witness protests and demonstrations, and encounter conflicts between black and white communities. These experiences have a lasting impact on their friendship.

The story then jumps to a point in their adult lives. Twyla and Roberta meet again at a Howard Johnson's restaurant near a highway. They have conflicting memories of their time at St. Bonaventure and recall a particular girl named Maggie, who was physically disabled and possibly racially mistreated. Their differing recollections reveal their individual biases and the unreliability of memory.

The encounter between Twyla and Roberta is tense and filled with unresolved issues from their past. It becomes clear that race continues to affect their lives and their perceptions of each other. The story ends with the two women attending a march for racial equality, suggesting the ongoing impact of race in their lives and in society.

"Recitatif" is renowned for its exploration of race, memory, and the complexities of human relationships. Morrison's skillful storytelling leaves the reader questioning their own assumptions and biases while highlighting the enduring influence of race on individuals and communities.