Hi y’all! So I have no theme for June is Audiobook Month this year. I will be posting past winners of Sultry Listeners (as we gear up for this year), audiobooks that moved this year, and spotlighting some of my favorite narrators. My first week though is full of books that I think need to be seen and heard.
Day 4: Playing in the Dark By Toni Morrison Narrated by Bahni Turpin is a look at Race in literature. This is a very short listen (3 hours) but really impactful. My white privilege means when I read something that I don’t think about players in the story based on their race but I should pay more attention. Particularly in classics where she points that class and race played huge parts even in the fabric of the background of the story. This made me pause and think about my favorite stories. We are taught a lot even through things that seem they aren’t teaching that Whiteness is higher class, deserves to be the hero, and often the work for that to happen falls on those of other races. This isn’t how it should be but as I think back to my favorite stories, it is unfortunately how it was portrayed. I have a lot to unpack and I know this will shape my reading going forward.
- Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
- Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
- Length: 3 hrs and 9 mins
About the Book:
The Nobel Prize-winning author now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.
Toni Morrison’s brilliant discussions of the “Africanist” presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree – and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.
Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a preeminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly listened to by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.
“By going for the American literary jugular…she places her arguments…at the very heart of contemporary public conversation about what it is to be authentically and originally American. [She] boldly…reimagines and remaps the possibility of America.” (Chicago Tribune)
“Toni Morrison is the closest thing the country has to a national writer.” (The New York Times Book Review)