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Morrison, Toni. PLAYING IN THE DARK: WHITENESS AND THE LITERARY IMAGINATION. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 91 pages. Fine/Fine.

Book-length account on subject. One of Toni Morrison's least-known and finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The DJ does NOT have the Nobel Prize gold seal printed on it. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Toni Morrison's "Playing In The Dark: Whiteness And The Literary Imagination". Her William E. Massey Sr. Lecture In The History of American Civilization, delivered at Harvard University in 1990. The three lecture-essays, "Black Matters", "Romancing The Shadow", and "Disturbing Nurses And The Kindness of Sharks", appear with a new Preface that Morrison wrote specifically for the book. "Novelist Morrison maintains that an African-American presence, largely ignored by critics, has always permeated white American literature, opening by carefully setting her parameters and defining her terms. The first few pages feature densely packed language whose meaning becomes clearer when Morrison examines such specific works as Willa Cather's 'Sapphira And The Slave Girl'. This highly provocative book, which considers the impact of racism on those who perpetuate it, is not only for Morrison's many admirers, but for all those interested in American literature" (Louis J. Parascandola). In essays on such canonical figures as Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Willa Cather, and Ernest Hemingway, Morrison defines, in effect, her unique achievement, not just her "contribution", as the preeminent African-American writer of our time, a fact universally acknowledged when she won the Nobel Prize the following year. The literary critic Patricia Storace has summed up Morrison's achievement brilliantly: "Toni Morrison is relighting the angles from which we view American history, changing the very color of its shadows, showing whites what they look like in black mirrors. To read her work is to witness something unprecedented, an invitation to a literature to become what it has claimed to be, a truly American literature" (Patricia Storace). An absolute "must-have" title for Toni Morrison collectors. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: It does NOT have the Nobel Prize gold seal that all other subsequent printings do. Most copies available online are subsequent printings or the Softcover Edition. A scarce copy thus. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Toni Morrison's "Beloved" was selected by The New York Times panel of writers, editors, and critics as the most important work of American fiction of the last 25 years. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2012. One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER TONI MORRISON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0674673778. $40.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on August 17, 2017.