New Critical Essays on Toni Morrison's God Help the Child
144 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paperback
Release Date:15 Jul 2020
ISBN:9781496828880
Hardcover
Release Date:15 Jul 2020
ISBN:9781496828873
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New Critical Essays on Toni Morrison's God Help the Child

Race, Culture, and History

University Press of Mississippi

Contributions by Alice Knox Eaton, Mar Gallego, Maxine Lavon Montgomery, Evelyn Jaffe Schreiber, Shirley A. Stave, Justine Tally, Susana Vega-González, and Anissa Wardi
In her eleventh novel, God Help the Child, Toni Morrison returned to several of the signature themes explored in her previous work: pernicious beauty standards for women, particularly African American women; mother-child relationships; racism and colorism; and child sexual abuse. God Help the Child, published in 2015, is set in the contemporary period, unlike all of her previous novels. The contemporary setting is ultimately incidental to the project of the novel, however; as with Morrison’s other work, the story takes on mythic qualities, and the larger-than-life themes lend themselves to allegorical and symbolic readings that resonate in light of both contemporary and historical issues.
New Critical Essays on Toni Morrison's “God Help the Child”: Race, Culture, and History, a collection of eight essays by both seasoned Morrison scholars as well as new and rising scholars, takes on the novel in a nuanced and insightful analysis, interpreting the novel in relation to Morrison’s earlier work as well as locating it within ongoing debates in literary and other academic disciplines engaged with African American literature. The volume is divided into three sections. The first focuses on trauma—both the pain and suffering caused by neglect and abuse, as well as healing and understanding. The second section considers narrative choices, concentrating on experimentation and reader engagement. The third section turns a comparative eye to Morrison's fictional canon, from her debut work of fiction, The Bluest Eye, until the present.
These essays build on previous studies of Morrison’s novels and deepen readers’ understanding of both her last novel and her larger literary output.

Alice Knox Eaton is professor of English and has served as chair of the Humanities Department at Springfield College. She contributed to Contested Boundaries: New Critical Essays on the Fiction of Toni Morrison, and her work has appeared in Chronicle of Higher Education and A Review of International English Literature. Maxine Lavon Montgomery is professor of English at Florida State University. She is editor of Contested Boundaries: New Critical Essays on the Fiction of Toni Morrison; Conversations with Edwidge Danticat; and Conversations with Gloria Naylor, the latter two published by University Press of Mississippi. Shirley A. Stave is professor of English and assistant director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University. She is editor of Toni Morrison and the Bible: Contested Intertextualities and coeditor of A Mercy: Critical Approaches.
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