Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was an acclaimed American novelist, essayist, editor, and professor. She won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 and is best known for her novels 'Beloved', 'Song of Solomon', and 'The Bluest Eye'. Her work explores themes of African-American identity, history, and culture.

Books

This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Beloved

    This novel tells the story of a former African-American slave woman who, after escaping to Ohio, is haunted by the ghost of her deceased daughter. The protagonist is forced to confront her repressed memories and the horrific realities of her past, including the desperate act she committed to protect her children from a life of slavery. The narrative is a poignant exploration of the physical, emotional, and psychological scars inflicted by the institution of slavery, and the struggle for identity and self-acceptance in its aftermath.

    The 26th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Song of Solomon

    The novel explores the life of an African-American man, Macon "Milkman" Dead III, from birth to adulthood. Set against the backdrop of racial tension in the mid-20th century United States, it delves into his journey of self-discovery and understanding his heritage. As Macon embarks on a literal and figurative journey south to reconnect with his roots, he encounters various characters that help him understand his family history and the power of community. The narrative is deeply rooted in African-American folklore and mythology, offering a profound commentary on identity, personal freedom, and the destructive power of racism.

    The 137th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Bluest Eye

    The novel is a poignant tale of an African American girl named Pecola Breedlove who grows up during the years following the Great Depression. Living in a society that values beauty in terms of light skin and blue eyes, Pecola develops an inferiority complex and wishes for blue eyes, believing that it would make her beautiful and loved. The story explores themes of racial self-loathing, the standards of beauty, and the dynamics of power and oppression.

    The 459th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Sula

    The novel is a poignant tale of two African American girls, Nel and Sula, growing up in the racially segregated town of Medallion, Ohio. The narrative explores their friendship, personal struggles, and the societal expectations imposed on them. Sula, the more rebellious of the two, leaves town to live a life of freedom and independence, while Nel chooses to conform to societal norms, marrying and raising a family. When Sula returns, their friendship is tested due to a betrayal, and the town labels Sula as evil. The book delves into themes of friendship, betrayal, individuality, and the societal roles of women.

    The 609th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Jazz

    Set in the Harlem of the 1920s, this novel follows the lives of a middle-aged couple, Joe and Violet, and their complicated relationship with a young woman named Dorcas. After Joe starts an affair with Dorcas and later kills her out of jealousy, Violet attempts to disfigure Dorcas's corpse at her funeral out of anger and resentment. The narrative explores themes of love, passion, betrayal, and the transformative power of music, particularly jazz, in a rapidly changing society.

    The 1758th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. A Mercy

    "A Mercy" by Toni Morrison is a historical fiction novel set in the late 17th century in America. The story follows a young slave girl named Florens who is sold by her mother to a Dutch trader in exchange for a debt. Florens is then taken to a plantation in Virginia where she becomes part of a diverse group of women, including a Native American, a white indentured servant, and the plantation owner's wife. The novel explores themes of race, gender, and power dynamics as the women navigate their relationships with each other and the harsh realities of life in colonial America.

    The 3029th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Paradise

    The novel explores the complex dynamics within an all-Black town in rural Oklahoma, founded as a sanctuary from racism and oppression. When a nearby convent, inhabited by a group of women who have sought refuge from their troubled pasts, becomes the focus of the town's unease, tensions escalate. The narrative delves into the histories of the town's families and the women of the convent, revealing themes of identity, community, and the often destructive nature of idealism. The book culminates in a violent confrontation, raising profound questions about love, morality, and the meaning of paradise.

    The 5848th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Recitatif

    The story is a provocative exploration of the complex friendship between two girls, Twyla and Roberta, who meet in a shelter during their childhood and encounter each other at various points throughout their lives. Their intermittent interactions over the years reveal the deep-seated racial tensions and societal prejudices that shape their realities. The narrative deliberately obscures the girls' racial identities, challenging the reader to confront their own assumptions and biases about race and privilege. As the two women's lives intertwine, their shared history and the changing social landscape of America force them to grapple with their personal and collective memories, ultimately questioning the very nature of their recollections and the impact of race on their experiences.

    The 6942nd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Home

    This novel delves into the life of Frank Money, a traumatized Korean War veteran, who embarks on a harrowing journey back to his native Georgia in search of his beloved sister, Cee, to save her from a dangerous situation. Set against the backdrop of the racially segregated America of the 1950s, the story explores themes of family, racism, and redemption. As Frank confronts the demons of his past and the pervasive racism of his homeland, he and Cee strive to forge a new sense of identity and home, revealing the profound resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

    The 10942nd Greatest Book of All Time