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Today’s Favorite Book is “Paradise” by Toni Morrison. Morrison’s works have been labeled “deep” and “complex”; “Paradise” is no exception. This novel is a layered masterpiece, and doesn’t flinch from the dark topics of lust, murder and betrayal. “Paradise” is riveting, strong and quietly brilliant, and depicts a town of Blacks in the Midwest, who are challenged by the prospect of a changing world. The townspeople of Ruby, Oklahoma struggle to maintain the quiet, private existence they have enjoyed for many years; Ruby is a town of affluent but reserved African Americans, all of whom value their privacy and seek to protect it. A group of mysterious women living in a “convent” on the edge of town stirs up trouble within the small enclave of Ruby, and ultimately, this small cluster of women garners a violent reaction from some of Ruby’s citizens.

Morrison is a deeply thoughtful writer, and is acclaimed for her signature use of dialogue within her novels, which include “Tar Baby,” “The Bluest Eye,” and “Beloved.” A film of the same name, based off of the novel “Beloved,” debuted in 1998, and featured actors Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, and Oprah Winfrey.

A writer, lecturer and teacher, Morrison has achieved many awards during her career, including The Pulitzer Prize, The Nobel Prize for Literature, and The National Book Critics Circle Award. Morrison was a Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University from 1989 until 2006, and remains an authority in the fields of Creative Writing and African American Literature.

For more information on Toni Morrison, check out her article in “Way Black When.”

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S. Willis is a native Virginian. She is the author of a children’s book, “The Little Adventures of Bella and DJ,” which will be released this spring (visit www.WordsByWillis.com to pre-order).

Want to recommend a book for S. Willis to review? Email your suggestions to: Samantha@wordsbywillis.com