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Song of Solomon: A Novel Hardcover – Nov 1978


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Hardcover, Nov 1978
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; 1st UK Edition edition (November 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701123753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701123758
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 458 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Amazon

The third novel from one America's most powerful writers turns 20 years old in 1997, but Song of Solomon long ago ascended to the top shelf in the ranks of great literature. This Everyman's Library hardcover edition of the Nobel Prize-winning Morrison's lyrical, powerful, and erudite novel contains a chronology that situates the book in its historical context, and an introduction from author Reynolds Price. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

This new version of Morrison's 1977 novel is a fitting reminder of her early creative mastery. Song of Solomon is a powerful, sensual, and poetic exploration of four generations of a family mistakenly named Dead. Told through the eyes of "Milkman," a rare male protagonist in Morrison's wonderful catalog of unforgettable characters, we discover a century's worth of secrets, ghosts, and troubles. Milkman is faced with resolving the differing memories of his parents and his mysterious aunt Pilate, while questioning the historically charged realities thrown at him by the death of real-life victims of racism like Emmett Till as viewed by his lifelong friend Guitar. Lynne Thigpen was born to tell the author's stories, catching every lyrical note and each painful cry. A perfect marriage of author and reader, this will win new audiences and reassure audio veterans that by listening to books one truly can appreciate the magic of storytelling.
-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on June 7 2004
Format: Paperback
Even though it is beautifully written, this book is not for everyone, because some might find searching for the meaning tedius. However, I highly recommend this book if you like searching for a meaning. On the top, the story told is wonderful. Under the surface, the message of love and finding your family roots is outstanding. This is a great book for someone who is struggling to find who they are. I was reminded of McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood--A Tour of Southern Homes and Gardens," or perhaps "The Color Purple" in that the characters have to really go through a lot before they find themselves. Such is the case with "I Know." Morrison generally writes in this style of an underlying message, and it keeps her readers intrigued until the end of the book. Milkman's search is much like what every teen in the world wants. He says "I just want to be on my own. Get a job, live on my own" However, through Milkman, Morrison shows her readers that they must first take care of their responsibility to their family and culture. However, when love and respect for culture is discovered, the following lesson can be learned, "Without leaving the ground, she could fly. Therefore, this is an important book to read for thos wanting freedom, so they can learn from the mistakes of Milkman. Frankly, I don't know how anyone could not like this book, if not for the wonderful story, then at least for the wonderful writing.
Would also recommend: "Bark of the Dogwood"
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By A Customer on March 24 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent portrayal of the hopelessness of black life in the days between slavery and civil rights and of the crisis of a man torn between two cultures. A young black man, Macon Dead searches for his own identity. His father, also called Macon Dead, a prosperous real-estate owner in Michigan is eager to leave behind his black roots, the poverty-stricken,violent life of the average negro. He seeks to ape the white man and marries the relatively light-skinned daughter of the respected local doctor. His life, just like his marriage is devoid of warmth, love or any sense of family belonging. Even his daughter, Corinthians, much to his disgrace can only find fulfillment and end her sterile existence in the arms of a low-life killer. Macon comes to know his father's sister, Pilate. For him, she represents the warmth, the rootedness, the closeness to the living earth and the throbbing life force of black culture. Macon, born into but dissatisfied with the sterility of his pseudo-white home now sets out on a search to learn about his origins. Yet in the end, it is the life style of the white man and of Macon's father which survives. Just as such black villages as Shalimar in the American south die and decay, so is the true black himself sucked back into the death-bringing quagmire of the blood which runs through his veins.
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Format: Paperback
With passion and a voice that sings with beautiful detail and magic, Toni Morrison's third novel, published in 1977, is a powerful tale that follows the lives of a black family and their friends living in a Michigan city. In 1931, Macon Dead III, later nicknamed Milkman, is prematurely brought into the world, the first black child born in Mercy Hospital, just after his mother witnesses the brief flight of a man determined to fly from the cupola of the hospital. Although the novel revolves around Milkman, the stories spun out from him embrace a wide variety of characters and experiences. Morrison explores the lasting stamp of slavery through the name of Macon Dead; the intimate culture of women through Pilate, Reba, and Hagar; the hunger for property and respectability through Milkman's father; the idea of one's "people" through those in the South who have not forgotten connections; the violence of civil rights through Guitar; and many more issues facing blacks of the times and today. Despite the resonance of history, this novel is ultimately about its people and their eagerly lived lives. Morrison plunges her readers into their hearts with a humanity and skill too few novelists possess. The result is a remarkably emotional and intelligent story that will stay with you for a long time.
Readers should not be intimidated by Morrison's Nobel Prize Winner status, as this novel, like most of her others, is written in startling but accessible language. You don't need an advanced degree (or even a specific race or gender) to slip into her magical prose. Her characters are real and fully realized, and feel like friends, even when you might want to shake them to their senses.
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Format: Paperback
Toni Morrison's third novel, "Song of Solomon", is one of her more praised novels (but then again which is not). Morrison takes on a third-person limited point of view of Milkman, which is extremely intriguing for it is a black man as her protagonist, not a black woman as with the rest of her works.
Evidently though, "Song of Solomon" is more of a communal novel, as seen with the impressive opening chapter with the gathered people viewing the the unfortunate, rough, and yet touching suicide of a local resident. The impressive selection of characters makes it as well planned out as Sherwood Anderson's "Winesburg, Ohio" or anything by William Faulkner.
The best parts of this novel are the bookends - the wonderfully constructed, metaphoric, and chaotic opening chapter, and the gutwretching climax that made me see this book as something quite redeemable. Morrison has a knack for poetic writing, much like Virginia Woolf. The middle layers may not be a strong as the bookends, but it is definitely worth the hours you spend devoted to it, for it is a novel that is unforgettable.
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