If you, like me, are looking forward to some reading this summer, let’s embark on this ill-fated journey together. Will we achieve our reading goals? Almost certainly not. Will we still enjoy the act of resistance that is leisure in a society that values only productivity? We must — or perish.
On Thursday, Cornell held a virtual day-long reading of The Bluest Eye to celebrate the amazing career of author Toni Morrison M.A. ʼ55 and the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication. This event was the beginning of a year-long celebration of Toni Morrison as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Arts Unplugged Series. Morrison, one of Cornell’s most notable alumni, published The Bluest Eye, her first novel, in 1970. While the pandemic delayed this event from its original planned date last spring, there are some benefits to the virtual format. “The advantage of doing it remotely is that thousands of people everywhere can hear it, can see it,” said Professor Anne Adams, Africana Studies. “There’s more of a consistency to the experience of watching it than there would have been if we were going between live readers and readers being brought in remotely,” added Professor Roger Gilbert, English.
Morrison was the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is renowned as a prolific fiction writer, literary critic and theorist. Her most famous works include Pulitzer Prize winning Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon.
Toni Morrison was truly a genius. Her sudden passing on Aug. 5, 2019 is so heartbreaking. The Nobel Laureate will go down in history as one of the world’s greatest writers who helped globalize the novel as a genre. She made a profound, critical impact on areas such as African American literature, American literature, black women’s literature and world literature, among others.
Here, The Sun collected responses to Morrison’s influence, featuring statements by former President Barack Obama, professors who worked with her and the students who studied Morrison’s work in Goldwin Smith Hall — where she, too, studied over sixty years ago.
One of Cornell’s most prominent alumnae, Toni Morrison M.A. ’55, died on Monday night, a friend confirmed to the Associated Press. Morrison was a prize-winning author who penned eleven books, including Beloved and The Bluest Eye.