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Synopsis: The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove -- a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others -- who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
Review: Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 2000: Originally published in 1970, The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel. In an afterword written more than two decades later, the author expressed her dissatisfaction with the book's language and structure: "It required a sophistication unavailable to me." Perhaps we can chalk up this verdict to modesty, or to the Nobel laureate's impossibly high standards of quality control. In any case, her debut is nothing if not sophisticated, in terms of both narrative ingenuity and rhetorical sweep. It also shows the young author drawing a bead on the subjects that would dominate much of her career: racial hatred, historical memory, and the dazzling or degrading power of language itself.
Set in Lorain, Ohio, in 1941, The Bluest Eye is something of an ensemble piece. The point of view is passed like a baton from one character to the next, with Morrison's own voice functioning as a kind of gold standard throughout. The focus, though, is on an 11-year-old black girl named Pecola Breedlove, whose entire family has been given a cosmetic cross to bear:
You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.... And they took the ugliness in their hands, threw it as a mantle over them, and went about the world with it.There are far uglier things in the world than, well, ugliness, and poor Pecola is subjected to most of them. She's spat upon, ridiculed, and ultimately raped and impregnated by her own father. No wonder she yearns to be the very opposite of what she is--yearns, in other words, to be a white child, possessed of the blondest hair and the bluest eye.
This vein of self-hatred is exactly what keeps Morrison's novel from devolving into a cut-and-dried scenario of victimization. She may in fact pin too much of the blame on the beauty myth: "Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another--physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion." Yet the destructive power of these ideas is essentially colorblind, which gives The Bluest Eye the sort of universal reach that Morrison's imitators can only dream of. And that, combined with the novel's modulated pathos and musical, fine-grained language, makes for not merely a sophisticated debut but a permanent one. --James Marcus
Title: The Bluest Eye
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Publication Date: 1993
Book Condition: Good
Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0679433732-2-4
Book Description New York: Knopf, 1993, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0679433732
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Condition: UsedAcceptable. book. Seller Inventory # M0679433732_4
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. La condizione del libro Ã buona, Ã perfettamente leggibile, potrebbe avere rade annotazioni e sottolineature a matita, qualche rada fioriture e i segni di un fisiologico invecchiamento. La copertina del libro Ã in buone condizioni, potrebbe presentare fisiologici segni del tempo, il dorso presenta un lieve stress da lettura. (id_ref XY4392.S25). Seller Inventory # XY4392
Book Description NY: Holt,Rinehart,Winston, 1970, NY, 1970. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. Book Club (BCE/BOMC). Book Club (BCE/BOMC). A Fine BCE,quarter bound blue brds.,white cloth spine,metallic blue lettering.A very nice looking edition,with a Fine DJ in white,blue lettering on front cover,author's picture on back. Seller Inventory # 1289
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P020679433732
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110679433732
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0679433732
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Hardcover. Condition: Good. First Edition - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0679433732
Book Description Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. First Edition - may be Reissue. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0679433732n