Toni Morrison is a universally celebrated writer. This American author has elegantly captured the Black American experience across her many books. She often highlights the struggles that many Black Americans experience.
Morrison won numerous awards for her writing. For instance, she became the first black woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.
If you want to read the wonderful writing of Toni Morrison but are unsure as to what order you should read her books, this guide will give you all of the information that you need to know!
About Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison is a critically acclaimed and award-winning author. She has earned a reputation for her poetic writing style and unique use of language.
Morrison’s books tend to focus on the African-American community, often covering themes such as cultural identity, racism, and class.
Toni Morrison Books In Order
Morrison’s debut novel is The Bluest Eye, which focuses on the societal unhealthy focus on beauty.
The protagonist, the eleven-year-old Pecola, is a black girl who wishes that she could meet America’s lofty beauty standards. Pecola believes that if her eyes were blue, her life would be completely different.
- Morrison offers superb social commentary that focuses on race and class.
- The rather tragic plot may be a little too heart-wrenching for some.
Sula and Nel are best friends. As these friends grow into women, their friendship remains sturdy, even though they have very different lives. However, this friendship ultimately ends in betrayal.
Centering around the theme of ambiguity, Sula is a great exploration of a complex friendship.
- The narrative is simple but Morrison crafts a compelling narrative.
- Some of the characters are not well fleshed out.
Morrison’s third novel is Song of Solomon, a riveting coming-of-age narrative. Milkman Dead has an obsession with flying following an unusual event that happened just after he was born.
Traveling to Virginia, Milkman learns all about his family’s history with flying.
- Morrison has created a fascinating bildungsroman.
- The message of this book is not clear.
Tar Baby is a gorgeous romance novel that explores race relations, gender, and power. Jadine is a black fashion model who has a white patron and boyfriend.
However, Son is a fugitive who is the very opposite of Jadine. Despite this, Jadine feels a fiery passion for Son.
- Morrison crafts sublime symbolism in Tar Baby.
- The pacing is slightly slow at the start.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Beloved is one of Morrison’s most celebrated novels. This important book explores the impact of slavery.
The book explores the tumultuous relationships between a family that was formerly slaves. Former slave Sethe is haunted by the past.
- This book tells an important narrative that will help readers to better understand the legacy of slavery.
- The story is quite heavy and so may not be suitable for everyone.
Jazz is a love story and historical novel. The book has a lucid structure, exploring the history of these characters and their links to South America.
- Morrison has devised a sensational and socially important love story.
- In an attempt to mirror jazz music, this book has a difficult-to-follow writing style.
The 1998 novel Paradise completes a trilogy alongside Beloved and Jazz. The book is centered around the theme of violence and focuses on a community built by former slaves.
- Morrison’s writing style is truly beautiful.
- This is a challenging read.
Morrison’s eighth novel is Love, a non-linear book that tells the tale of the relationships that various women have with Bill Cosey following his death. The narrative traverses complex familial and romantic relationships.
- The narrative is full of nuance.
- The non-linear style can be tricky to read.
Set in the 17th century, A Mercy depicts the experiences of slaves in America. Morrison’s ninth book is an important and thought-provoking deep dive into the origin of slavery.
- Morrison provides an intriguing examination of the psychology of slavery and violence.
- A Mercy may be triggering for some readers due to its focus on difficult and violent themes.
Home tells the story of Frank Money, a veteran who is returning home to find his sister. However, Frank’s journey home causes buried secrets to be unveiled.
- Home is equal parts gorgeous and brutal.
- The characters aren’t as vivid as in other Morrison novels.
- Morrison illuminates a plethora of introspective themes.
- The book covers explicit and triggering themes, including abuse.
Toni Morrison is a great writer who is renowned for her experimental writing style and her thought-provoking narratives. If you want to experience Morrison’s magnificent writing, it’s worth reading her brilliant books in chronological order!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Toni Morrison Book?
Most people will offer a different answer to this question. However, many people consider Beloved to be Morrison’s best book.
Is Toni Morrison Difficult To Read?
Yes, Toni Morrison’s writing can be challenging to read, but it’s worth the effort. The reason for this is that she has an unusual writing style that can be purposefully ambiguous and vague.