Much to the contentment of literary enthusiasts, celebrated author and cultural icon Toni Morrison will release a brand new project next year, titled, God Help the Child. The 11th published piece from Morrison, God Help the Child augments her long career of distinguished works, including Sula, The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, and most acclaimed, Beloved, the novel that inspired the Academy Award winning 1998 screen adaptation starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton and Kimberly Elise.
By Sabrina Renée, AFROPUNK Contributor
The book's publisher, Alfred Knopf, announced its release, stating, "[God Help the Child is] about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult," steering right into the lane of exposing familial faults and their consequences seen in much of her other work. Continuing with the novel's theme, Knopf explains that the story "is of a woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish . . . Booker, the man Bride loves and loses, whose core of anger was born in the wake of the childhood murder of his beloved brother . . . Rain, the mysterious white child, who finds in Bride the only person she can talk to about the abuse she's suffered at the hands of her prostitute mother . . . and Sweetness, Bride's mother, who takes a lifetime to understand that "what you do to children matters. And they might never forget."
A Nobel Peace Prize, American Book and Pulitzer Prize winner, Morrison also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. During one of her acceptance speeches, she stated “there is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby” that honors the memory of the human beings that were forced into slavery and brought to the United States; “There’s no small bench by the road." Her statements led the Toni Morrison Society to begin installing benches at significant sites in the history of slavery in America; the first "bench by the road" was dedicated in 2008 in South Carolina, the point of entry for approximately 40 percent of the enslaved Africans brought to America.
God Help the Child releases April 2015.