Toni Morrison is in that exalted stratosphere, high above the clouds, with the greatest of literary figures, like the Bronte Sisters, Twain, Dickens, Conrad, Baldwin, Hemingway, DOS Passos, and Michael Mann. To borrow a baseball analogy, “She is a first round Hall of Framer.”
“A Mercy”is simply another example of this woman’s greatness. Set in 1690, America, where slavery has not yet been fully implemented and where black girls are sold by their own parents to men looking for a wife, or a cook, or a maid… And black men arrive in America, many as indentured servants for a period of seven years or more in return for their paid passage to this new land.
This period in American history is simply brutal, and to survive and raise children is a near miracle, yet true to form, capitalism does thrive. Ms. Morrison narrative, and it changes throughout from first person to third person narrative, is enthralling and terrifying, her use of words is mystifying and poetic, and her characters are rich and unforgettable.
Ms. Morrison passed away recently, yet her massive body of work and her unique brilliance shall live forever.