28 December 2006

The Bluest Eye...Toni Morrison, first book 1970

Toni Morrison. THE BLUEST EYE. Holt, Rinehart, NY 1970.ISBN 003085075

Author's first book. Much admired American writer, she won the Pulitzer in 88 and the Nobel in 93. A shortish bildungsroman/ coming of age story of a year in the life of a young black girl called Pecola told by her friend Claudia. She experiences misery and degradation (including rape by her father) and becomes fixated on the blue eyes of her friend's white doll, praying for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be accepted... The novel was not generally well received, sparsely reviewed and misunderstood. I found only one excellent early review from the NY Times who saw it as 'an inquiry into the reasons why beauty gets wasted in this country..' It went out of print in 1974. In this century the work was book clubbed by Oprah.

VALUE? Not especially uncommon for a debut novel but because of her high status much sought after and valued; pretty hard to buy a decent one for less than $2K. ABE currently shows a few unsigned at north of $4000. Copies might fall a bit lower on ebay, I can't be sure of that though.

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