During the third year of my English bachelor I discovered Toni Morrison while studying for a course in African-American and Gender Studies. Our teacher taught Octavia Butler's Kindred, Gloria Naylor's Linden Hills and Morrison's Tar Baby. While it seems to be her most overlooked novel, our teacher had the insight to teach us that specific one, a violent love story set partly in the Caribbean between a light-skinned fashion model and a moody runaway criminal. The following lines are probably the most heartbreaking love lines ever put to paper:
"Desperately in love with a woman he could not risk loving because he could not afford to lose her. For he if he loved and lost this woman whose sleeping face was the limit his eyes could safely behold and whose wakened face threw him into confusion, he would surely lose the world. So he made himself disgusting to her. Insulted and offender her. Gave her sufficient cause to help him keep his love in chains and hoped to God the lock would hold. It snapped like a string."
I've read all her books save for the children's books she wrote with her deceased son and her latest novel. I really can't describe the amazement I felt when I read The Bluest Eye, Song Of Solomon, Sula, Beloved, or Jazz. I have bought Beloved to many people as a gift, and most of her novels to my wife, who I love even more after she adored her books. Perhaps her latest novels weren't up to par, and her endorsement of Obama were slightly disappointing, but hey. I want to thank you, Toni Morrison, for all the hours you offered me precious reading time.