The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

4 (135,183 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Read the searing first novel from the celebrated author of Beloved, which immerses us in the tragic, torn lives of a poor black family in post-Depression 1940s Ohio.

Unlovely and unloved, Pecola prays each night for blue eyes like those of her privileged white schoolfellows. At once intimate and expansive, unsparing in its truth-telling, The Bluest Eye shows how the past savagely defines the present. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison's virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterised her writing.

`She revealed the sins of her nation, while profoundly elevating its canon. She suffused the telling of blackness with beauty, whilst steering us away from the perils of the white gaze. That's why she told her stories. And why we will never, ever stop reading them' Afua Hirsch

`Discovering a writer like Toni Morrison is rarest of pleasures' Washington Post

`When she arrived, with her first novel, The Bluest Eye, she immediately re-ordered the American literary landscape' Ben Okri

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 15mm | 172g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0099759918
  • 9780099759911
  • 80

Review Text

New edition of this Toni Morrison title, published to coincide the release of the major film version of "Beloved".
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Review quote

"Not only a story but an awe-inspiring poem that confronts beauty itself." * Guardian * "So charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry" * New York Times * "I imagine if our greatest American novelist, William Faulkner, were alive today he would herald Toni Morrison's emergence as a kindred spirit... Discovering a writer like Toni Morrison is the rarest of pleasures" * Washington Post * "The Bluest Eye is a fine book, a lament for all starved and stunted children everywhere" * Daily Telegraph * "Morrison's style rivets the reader...her synaesthetic, often rhythmic, even chanting prose recalls both Faulkner and Emily Dickinson" * The Times Literary Supplement *
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About Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She was the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved, Paradise and Love. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, in 2012 by Barack Obama. Toni Morrison died on 5 August 2019 at the age of eighty-eight.
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Rating details

135,183 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 35% (47,971)
4 38% (51,076)
3 20% (26,995)
2 5% (6,561)
1 2% (2,580)

Our customer reviews

The Bluest Eye is the first novel by American author Toni Morrison. It is set in 1941 in the small town of Lorain, Ohio, and tells the story of an 11-year-old Negro girl, Pecola Breedlove, who becomes pregnant to her father Cholly. Pecola's family and environment is such that she is certain she is ugly; so convinced of this is she, that she wishes for blue eyes, believing this is the only thing that will relieve her ugliness. Narrated in part by a 9-year-old neighbourhood girl, Claudia, the perspective of young girls in this situation is novel. Some chapters detail the history of Cholly and Mrs Breedlove, giving some clues as to how this crippled and crippling family evolved. This reissue of Morrison's first novel includes a new Forward by the author wherein she explains what she was trying to achieve. Some of the prose is quite stunning: "Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved." The prose may be beautiful, but as a Dutch-born Caucasian living in Australia with a limited experience of the Negro, I found it difficult to relate to this book.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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