African American

19 posts

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Yet when an author treads into specific territories, the ground becomes awfully muddy. We’re happy to let writers play around with being a Roman slave of the first century or a prostitute of the eighteenth, but when it comes to depicting a person who has lived through the Holocaust or the Civil Rights era, ah, then I think we hesitate. Does an author, even in the services of fiction, have a right to appropriate these stories?

A Mercy by Toni Morrison

That’s it. Truly. That’s the plot. But to say that is all there is to it is like saying the Vietnam Memorial is just a black wall. There are an infinite number of stories in this book, with each new character’s narrative throwing light onto unexpected sides of the people we thought we knew. When Morrison takes us into a world, we do not visit it; we inhabit it.