Tony Morrison in Conversation with Fran Lebowitz, LIVE from the NYPL, November 12, 2008.
In conversation with Fran Lebowitz, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison explores how the broad strokes of history impact upon the personal choices of individuals who are caught in history's reach. In her works, Morrison uses fantasy, a sinuous poetic style, and a rich interweaving of the mythic in an attempt to reveal the black American experience. She tells the stories of her characters thorugh their struggle to establish a cultural identity in an unjust society. "A Mercy," Morrison's ninth novel, uncovers what lies beneath the surface of slavery, in an ambivalent, disturbing story. Like her novel "Beloved," the story takes place in the American past. Set in the 17th-century Northeast when the slave trade was in its infancy, her characters provide a detailed look at the social environment of religious persecution, racial hatred, and the class distinction that allowed the institution of slavery to flourish in the US.