The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (1970) This novel focuses on some African-American kids and their families in Lorain, Ohio—I guess the time period is post-Depression. This is near where I grew up, as well as my parents, who were kids around the time of this story—so I was interested to get the feeling of that, having heard accounts of that time period from them. This story involves incest and cruelty and racism and extreme poverty, and is told from multiple points of view. The writing is so good it is consistently a pleasure, despite some very sad and depressing subject matter. This got me thinking about the incidences of racism in my school, growing up, and even more about people's hardships and kids' cruelty, much of which I witnessed. And it got me thinking more about something I've been thinking about a lot lately, how I have been conscious of and critical of racism, unfairness, bullying, and cruelty though much of my life, while not really feeling anything about it. Why is that?—I suppose it has to do with falling on the easy side of luck and privilege—and it doesn't make me feel so good to only be realizing this now, as an old man. Anyway, as upsetting and sad as some of the events in this book are, it is powerful art and a pleasure to get enveloped in.
Books I've Finished Reading