The Source of Self-Regard : Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations
by Toni Morrison


Overview - Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison's oeuvre.

  Read Full Product Description
 
In Stock.

FREE Shipping for Club Members help
 
> Check In-Store Availability
search store by zipcode
In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 23 copies from $19.87
 
Download

Format: EPUB What's this?
This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison
 
 
 
Overview
Arguably the most celebrated and revered writer of our time now gives us a new nonfiction collection--a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

The Source of Self-Regard is brimming with all the elegance of mind and style, the literary prowess and moral compass that are Toni Morrison's inimitable hallmark. It is divided into three parts: the first is introduced by a powerful prayer for the dead of 9/11; the second by a searching meditation on Martin Luther King Jr., and the last by a heart-wrenching eulogy for James Baldwin. In the writings and speeches included here, Morrison takes on contested social issues: the foreigner, female empowerment, the press, money, "black matter(s)," and human rights. She looks at enduring matters of culture: the role of the artist in society, the literary imagination, the Afro-American presence in American literature, and in her Nobel lecture, the power of language itself. And here too is piercing commentary on her own work (including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Tar Baby, Jazz, Beloved, and Paradise) and that of others, among them, painter and collagist Romare Bearden, author Toni Cade Bambara, and theater director Peter Sellars. In all, The Source of Self-Regard is a luminous and essential addition to Toni Morrison's oeuvre.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780525521037
  • ISBN-10: 0525521038
  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: February 2019
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.55 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Literary Collections > Speeches
Books > Literary Collections > Essays
Books > Literary Collections > American - African American

 
BookPage Reviews

Well Read: February 2019

A new collection of essays and speeches from Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison solidifies her legacy as one of America’s most thoughtful and important writers.

Toni Morrison is such a peerless, masterful storyteller that it is easy to forget she is also one of our most engaged and engaging public intellectuals. Her new collection of essays and speeches, The Source of Self-Regard, reminds us of the breadth and depth of her concerns. Morrison ruminates on and illuminates the political, racial, social and literary issues that have long informed her work with a singular combination of curiosity and confidence. 

Because many of the 40-plus pieces Morrison gathers here were first delivered as speeches at conferences and commencements, they tend to be short, yet brevity does not preclude remarkable expansiveness of thought. This volume is divided into three sections: The first explores political and moral realities through the lens of globalism, racism and the sources and meanings of identity. The second section, anchored by the longest and weightiest pieces in the book, is self-explanatorily called “Black Matter(s).” The final section, “God’s Language,” offers meditations on art and literature (both Morrison’s own and others’). These organizing divisions can prove imprecise, however—it is impossible for this deep-seeing writer to stop the seepage of her vast and broad concerns between one section and the next. And we would not want her to.

Morrison considers the work of a disparate array of fellow writers, including James Baldwin, Gertrude Stein, William Faulkner, Chinua Achebe and Toni Cade Bambara. She parses works such as Beowulf, Cinderella and American slave narratives. Yet it is in the moments when she offers glimpses into the genesis of her own remarkable fiction that the magic of what might be called Morrison’s “reverse prism” takes hold, as she reveals how all of the scattered rays from her pursuit of understanding converge into the laser point of her narratives. “We move from data to information to knowledge to wisdom,” she writes in the title essay. “And if we agree that purposeful progression exists, then you’ll see at once how dispiriting this project of drawing or building or constructing fiction out of history can be . . . how quickly we can forget that wisdom without knowledge, wisdom without data, is just a hunch.”

As with any such collection of pieces spanning decades, The Source of Self-Regard contains repetitions, and interest may ebb and flow with a reader’s individual concerns. But ever-present in this collection is the consistency of vision and the powerful writing that readers have come to expect from the inestimable talent of this American original as she continues to navigate the thorny task of integrating history, of creating art, of learning to belong.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews