I am an emerging fiction writer living in Chicago. While I am a Luddite, I am using the forum because I love to meet new people, especially fellow artists, and learn new things.

Anyone interested in reading my published work can access it through the link under the My Web Site header on this blog. My short story "Life Goes on Without Me" recently won an honorable mention from Conclave: A Journal of Chracter's 2009 Fiction Contest. I am currently working on a novel, new short stories, and a creative non-fiction essay. My friend T.E. Russell has encouraged me to write a screenplay.

And as always, I am still submitting, submitting, submitting.

I look forward to meeting and reading from you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rereading Beloved

At Harold Washington Library a few weeks ago and looking for a new book to read.  The one I wanted was checked out.  As I headed to the desk to request for it to be transfered to my branch library once it arrived, I passed the fiction section housing Toni Morrison's novel Beloved caught my eye again.  I had read it twice before, but like baby ghost, it haunted me.  I checked it out while I waited for my latest book to arrive.

Each time I read Beloved, Morrison's prose style and narrative structure awes me.  The first novel of hers I read was The Bluest Eye, and the main term my classmates and I used to describe her writing was "poetic."  Beloved takes the poetry in her prose a step further.

Beloved is not a linear novel, and when one reads it, one has to carefully read it to keep track of all the shifts in time, yet Morrison does this so fluidly none of it is jarring.  Her dialogue and description are memorable:  thin love is not worth the same as thick love; the baby ghost hurling HereBoy with such force across 124 to the point where Sethe has to push his eye back into his head.  Good writing is loaded not just with good storytelling but solid and vivid imagery and insight.

Though I am of Western European descent and can never fully understand the African American experience, Morrison is such a remarkable writer that I feel Sethe's, Denver's, Paul D's, Baby Suggs, and Beloved's pain and want; I cry each time.  For a mother to choose killing her children over returning them to life of slavery is a choice not many want to understand but it is one ripe with truth.

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