Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

As anyone who knows me knows, Toni Morrison is my favourite ever author, along with Sylvia Plath. Toni Morrison has a large body of work, each one of which is unique and interesting in its own way, and deeply moving.

This a gentle documentary, letting Toni tell her story in her own words, while her more famous fans provide a greek chorus of celebration and inspiration from her work. For a woman whose books are full of such suffering, Toni tells her story as one of good fortune becoming greater fortune. Any discrimination or challenge she faced never seem to discourage her, she seemed to feel pity for any poor fool who thought they could stand in her way.

And she is like a juggernaut. She becomes the first African-American senior editor at Random House while raising two kids by herself, while also writing her novels and teaching at Yale. She ensures through her editing position that other African-American talent gets the recognition it deserves, and lifts others up.

And every time she is asked about her continued dismissal as a “black writer” who “limits herself” to writing about the experiences of African-American women, she meets it with humour, and not bitterness. She seems more bemused by it, as she continues right on outstripping her critics in success after success.

A lovely look at the very down-to-earth woman behind these very emotionally cataclysmic novels.