Saturday, May 17, 2008

Toni, Toni, Toni

Some further fangirlism inspired by a CNN article from last week. I have a dream of someday meeting Toni Morrison. I love her not just because of her writing--she's also an example of a [fantabulous and well respected] editor who managed to make a successful career as a [beloved and prizewinning] writer, too. Here's her wikibiography for those curious for more details.

Here's a link to a newspaper interview with Toni--10 reader questions answered. Certain topics are less interesting than others (eg the Bill Clinton conversation), but some of the highlights for me:

How did you discover your passion for writing? —Roderick Yang, Seattle
My deepest passion was reading. At some point—not early, I was 35 or 36—I realized there was a book that I wanted very much to read that really hadn't been written, and so I sort of played around with it in trying to construct the kind of book I wanted to read.

Do you think that young black females are dealing with the same self-acceptance issues today as your character was in The Bluest Eye? —Francesca Siad, Calgary, Alta.
No, not at all. When I wrote the book, the young women who read it liked it [but] were unhappy because I had sort of exposed an area of shame. Nowadays I find young African-American women much more complete. They seem to have a confidence that they take for granted.

My 15-year-old daughter lives to write. What advice do you have for aspiring writers? —Darren Wethers, St. Louis, Mo.
The work is in the work itself. If she writes a lot, that's good. If she revises a lot, that's even better. She should not only write about what she knows but about what she doesn't know. It extends the imagination.

4 comments:

Aerin said...

Wow, she didn't start writing until her mid 30s. That's cool.

Charles Gramlich said...

Good to see her comment about writing what you "don't know." I agree wholeheartedly.

Shelli said...

I love Toni Morrison's work too. I didn't know she didn't start until she was in her mid-thirties! Wow!

Veronica said...

"After the Revolution, Toni Morrison will read the news. And when she feels like it, she'll write it too." - English As a Second Language