Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Bluest Eye

          The Bluest Eye          The Bluest Eye (Vintage International)

Pecola Breedlove feels ugly. Her family tells her she is ugly. As a young black girl in the 1940's, people at school and anyone she meets, anywhere, let her know she is ugly. She thinks that she will be beautiful, that her life will be better if she could only have blue eyes.

Toni Morrison includes much in this fairly slim volume, Claudia's perspective (another young black girl in the neighborhood), both of Pecola's parents' history, Pecola's longing for beauty, and for peace in her world and home. Each word in this book is a gift to the reader.

The Bluest Eye is a meditation on beauty, on self-worth, on what it means to be human, to be seen, truly seen, as a black girl in our culture. It is also about incest. Not a comfortable book, The Bluest Eye is exquisite and agonizing.

So many books are forgettable. Lovely, luminous, and haunting, I have a feeling this one will be with me for a long, long time.


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