God Help the Child

A Novel

Toni Morrison

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Beschreibung

Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child-the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment-weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.

At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride's mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget."

A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

Praise for Toni Morrison's
GOD HELP THE CHILD

"Utterly compelling . . . Morrison remains an incredibly powerful writer who commands attention."
-Roxane Gay, The Guardian

"God Save the Child is superb, its story gliding along the tracks of Morrison's utterly assured prose."
-Charles Finch, USA Today (critic's pick)

"Morrison is such a masterful writer that even those who don't prefer stream of conscious novels may find them sucked into these minds, turning page after page of this short novel until they've finished the book in one sitting."
-Sarah Hutchins, Portland Book Review

"Toni Morrison [is] still breaking new literary ground . . . a readable and entrancing novel that rivals her earlier work in its powerful range of effects . . . This novel is worth reading on the strength of Morrison's narrative talents alone. But it also makes an inviting introduction to her entire body of work. 'God Help the Child' finds this American legend still breaking new ground and, as always, delivering an uncompromising and memorable novel."
-Jack Pender, Waterloo Region Record

"A wrenching tale."
-Entertainment Weekly

"Morrison possesses enough generosity of spirit to see a few glimmering moments of genuine hope amid the ruin, along with the intellectual heft needed to understand their context, and the graciousness to share them with us."
-Andrew Ervin, Philadelphia Inquirer

"The prose is lean, uncluttered. Morrison's novelistic architectures have always been exceptionally well-designed; she crafts the vessels, carefully and uniquely to each story, before pouring in the water, and God Help the Child is no exception."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer

"[Morrison's] powers are proudly on display in God Help the Child. At its best, this new novel demonstrates that the author is, as she suggested recently in a New York Times Magazine profile, fully capable of writing novels forever."
-The Atlantic

"A searing, lyrical story . . . Even Morrison's minor characters are complex, intriguing people deserving of closer inspection, and as Bride's journey acquires a momentum of its own, the magnetism of her troubles pulls the reader along . . . Beautifully composed in a variety of distinct voices and covering a range of family concerns, God Help the Child employs a hint of magical realism and explores issues of race and women's lives familiar to fans of Morrison's fiction. The story of Bride's life and trials is sensual, both delicate and strong, poetic and heavy with sex, love and pain, exemplifying a revered author's unfailing talent.
-Julia Jenkins

"With 'God Help Help the Child,' Morrison gives us an unflinching look at the wounds that adults can inflict on children with life-altering consequences . . . By the final page, 'God Help the Child' reminds us that few authors can deliver exquisitely written prose as Morrison."
-Patrik Bass, Essence.com

"A slim, modest work that still manages to pack an emotional wallop."
-Boston Globe

"Another unflinching, gorgeously written story."
-San Francisco Chronicle

"Every page contains at least one passage of breathtaking prose, a lyrical flow accentuated by stark imagery and laden with poetic contrasts."
-Dallas Morning News

"Morrison has a Shakespearean sense of tragedy, and that gift imbues God Help the Child. The ending is exquisite, bringing to mind Gwendolyn Brooks' wonderful lines: 'Art hurts. Art urges voyages -- and it is easier to stay at home.'"
-Newsday

"A book to be read twice at a minimum - the first time for the story, and the second time to savor the language, the gems of phrasing and the uncomfortable revelations about the human capacity both to love and destroy."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Succinct but beautiful, with a powerful message that will reach readers of all demographics, because frankly, we all have things in our pasts we'd like to change. The power is not in time travel; the power is in realizing we must move on and push forward to succe

Toni Morrison is the author of eleven novels, from 
The Bluest Eye (1970) to 
God Help the Child (2015). She received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She died in 2019.

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 192
Erscheinungsdatum 19.01.2016
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-101-97194-9
Verlag Random House LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 17,5/10,3/1,7 cm
Gewicht 93 g
Verkaufsrang 21641

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  • Sweetness

    I

    t's not my fault. So you can't blame me. I didn't do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn't take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. She was so black she scared me. Midnight black, Sudanese black. I'm light-skinned, with good hair, what we call high yellow, and so is Lula Ann's father. Ain't nobody in my family anywhere near that color. Tar is the closest I can think of yet her hair don't go with the skin. It's different-straight but curly like those naked tribes in Australia. You might think she's a throwback, but throwback to what? You should've seen my grandmother; she passed for white and never said another word to any one of her children. Any letter she got from my mother or my aunts she sent right back, unopened. Finally they got the message of no message and let her be. Almost all mulatto types and quadroons did that back in the day-if they had the right kind of hair, that is. Can you imagine how many white folks have Negro blood running and hiding in their veins? Guess. Twenty percent, I heard. My own mother, Lula Mae, could have passed easy, but she chose not to. She told me the price she paid for that decision. When she and my father went to the courthouse to get married there were two Bibles and they had to put their hands on the one reserved for Negroes. The other one was for white people's hands. The Bible! Can you beat it? My mother was housekeeper for a rich white couple. They ate every meal she cooked and insisted she scrub their backs while they sat in the tub and God knows what other intimate things they made her do, but no touching of the same Bible.

    Some of you probably think it's a bad thing to group ourselves according to skin color-the lighter, the better-in social clubs, neighborhoods, churches, sororities, even colored schools. But how else can we hold on to a little dignity? How else can you avoid being spit on in a drugstore, shoving elbows at the bus stop, walking in the gutter to let whites have the whole sidewalk, charged a nickel at the grocer's for a paper bag that's free to white shoppers? Let alone all the name-calling. I heard about all of that and much, much more. But because of my mother's skin color, she wasn't stopped from trying on hats in the department stores or using their ladies' room. And my father could try on shoes in the front part of the shoestore, not in a back room. Neither one would let themselves drink from a "colored only" fountain even if they were dying of thirst.

    I hate to say it, but from the very beginning in the maternity ward the baby, Lula Ann, embarrassed me. Her birth skin was pale like all babies', even African ones, but it changed fast. I thought I was going crazy when she turned blue-black right before my eyes. I know I went crazy for a minute because once-just for a few seconds-I held a blanket over her face and pressed. But I couldn't do that, no matter how much I wished she hadn't been born with that terrible color. I even thought of giving her away to an orphanage someplace. And I was scared to be one of those mothers who put their babies on church steps. Recently I heard about a couple in Germany, white as snow, who had a dark-skinned baby nobody could explain. Twins, I believe-one white, one colored. But I don't know if it's true. All I know is that for me, nursing her was like having a pickaninny sucking my teat. I went to bottle-feeding soon as I got home.

    My husband, Louis, is a porter and when he got back off the rails he looked at me like I really was crazy and looked at her like she was from the planet Jupiter. He wasn't a cussing man so when he said, "Goddamn! What the hell is this?" I knew we were in trouble. That's what did it-what caused the fights between me and him. It broke our marriage to pieces. We had three good years together but when she was born he blamed me and treated Lula An