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Love

Posted - Jan. 19, 2004 at 4:22 a.m.



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Love by Toni Morrison

To truly enjoy a Toni Morrison novel, you must realize that you are reading poetry. Yes, there is a plot and there are characters, but first and foremost - this is poetry. The imagery, the symbolism, the metaphor - she reads almost like Shakespeare in that the lines must be felt more than read solely for factual content.

If you've read other Morrison novels, like Paradise, you know how challenging following a Morrison plot can sometimes be. But if you've read her before, you will not be discouraged by this style - you'll be hungry for it. After reading Love, it became even more clear to me why this amazing woman, author and professor at Princeton, has won not just the Pulitzer, but the Nobel prize.

Love is, of course, a story of love - or - of loves. It is the story of a man's love for a woman, for a child, a young girl's love for her best friend, a rival's love for the object of her jealousy, lust masquerading as love. The main male character, one Bill Cosey, around whom so many of the women in the novel revolve, says at one point in the book, "you can live with anything if you have what you can't live without." Just one example of the many lines you'll read in a Morrison novel that will stop you cold and make you want to write it down somewhere so you'll remember it.

The novel is a slim two hundred pages, and that brief number would be unfulfilling from a regular novelist from whom we can only hope for plot and character. But from Toni Morrison, it is rich. This is the magic of conveying so much more through words than most humans do; and therefore two hundred pages is perfect, although you will likely be left wanting more.

The latest bestseller from one of the true poets of our day is Love by Toni Morrison. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio, I'm Amanda Dickson.

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