Skip Navigation
Falvey Memorial Library
Advanced
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

Reading Toni: Explore Morrison’s Body of Work

Toni Morrison book collage

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

—Toni Morrison (1931-2019)

 

Toni Morrison, Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize, and American Book Award winner, passed away today at the age of 88. On the eve of a new biopic about Morrison, Kallie Stahl looked back on the library’s collection of her work. In honor of her life and incredible contribution to American letters, we are re-running a portion of the blog, originally featured in June.

Whether you’re familiar with Morrison’s narratives, looking to re-experience her storytelling before the film, or new to the author’s work, Falvey Memorial Library has a number of Morrison’s novels for you to explore:

    • The Bluest Eye (1972) The story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlover—a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others–who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different.
    • Sula (1973) Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies.
    • Song of Solomon (1977) With this brilliantly imagined novel, Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars, and assassins…inhabitants of a fully realized black world.
    • Tar Baby (1981) The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance.
    • Beloved (1987) Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this profoundly affecting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath is considered to be Toni Morrison’s greatest novel and the most spellbinding reading experience of the decade.
    • Jazz (1992) This passionate, profound story of love and obsession moves back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of Black urban life.
    • Paradise (1997) In prose that soars with the rhythms, grandeur, and tragic arc of an epic poem, Morrison challenges our most fiercely held beliefs as she weaves folklore and history, memory and myth into an unforgettable meditation on race, religion, gender, and a far-off past that is ever present. 
    • Love (2003) A Faulknerian symphony of passion and hatred, power and perversity, color and class that spans three generations of black women in a fading beach town.
    • A Mercy (2008) Reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter—a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.
    • Home (2012) The story of a Korean war veteran on a quest to save his younger sister. Frank Money is an angry, broken veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. He is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from that he’s hated all his life.
    • God Help the Child (2015) A tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. At the center: a young 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.

Kallie Stahl, MA ’17 CLAS, is communication and marketing specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. Her favorite Toni Morrison novel is The Bluest Eye.


Like

Celebrate Juneteenth with Critical Resources

Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth, the 19th of June, and the day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed two and a half years earlier in 1863, at that time without mass media, it actually took the physical arrival of Major General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, to announce to the last of the slaves held there that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Hence, the birthing of a new Independence Day.

Juneteenth not only commemorates the abolition of slavery, but also is growing to be a multicultural and global celebration of  freedom in general. Specifically, it is an opportunity to build cultural awareness, and in many communities, to educate young African-American generations about the struggles of their past and how their ancestors prevailed. Gratitude and pride, story and song make up many Juneteenth celebrations.

Dig Deeper

Explore further the intriguing times after the Emancipation through the following Falvey resources about Juneteenth , curated by history librarian, Jutta Seibert. Contact Jutta for her guidance through your research needs and also for her help navigating the wealth of books and online library materials.

  1. African American Studies Center Online (AASCO)
    http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=http://www.oxfordaasc.com/
    AASCO is a great source about African American history in general.  It includes the Encyclopedia of African American History: 1619-1895, Black Women in America, and the African American National Biography project. AASCO also includes primary sources and images.
  2. African American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century
    Follow the life of Harriet Tubman as chronicled in the African American Press.
  3. Historical New York Times, 1851-2009

A report about the white resistance to emancipation in Texas from July 1865:

“The Negro Question in Texas.” New York Times (1857-1922), Jul 09, 1865.
http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/91903644?accountid=14853.

Secondary sources about the tradition of Juneteenth celebrations in the Falvey collection:

Kachun Mitch. “Celebrating Freedom: Juneteenth and the Emancipation Festival Tradition.” InRemixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial, edited by Thomas J. Brown, 73-91. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. [E641 .R45 2011]

Links and resources prepared by Jutta Seibert, director of Academic Integration and subject librarian for History. Contact information: Jutta.Seibert@villanova.edu, telephone: 610-519-7876, office:  room 228.



Like

#FalveyIncludes: Visit the Diversity & Inclusion Subject Guide During Pride Month

New York City – August 18, 2007: Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, site of the June 1969 Stonewall Riots that commenced the Gay Liberation movement

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT+ Pride Month) is celebrated each June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots which occurred in 1969 in New York City. This five-day uprising by LGBT+ community members against police brutality is acknowledged as a turning point in the fight against anti-gay discrimination; it is also widely considered to be the birth of the gay rights movement in the United States. June 28, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The anniversary is marked each year by pride parades, picnics, workshops and historical tributes, as well as respect for those lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.

At Falvey Memorial Library, our mission is to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment and to make the library a place where all feel welcome. Encouraging the exploration of different viewpoints, we’d like to take this time to remind the Villanova community to search the various LGBTQ+ resources gathered below and in our collections. 

Remembering the liberation moment, librarians shared their recommended reading and resources:

Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature

Darren Poley, Theology, Classics and Humanities Librarian

Susan Turkel, Sociology & Criminology, Global Interdisciplinary Studies, and Gender & Women’s Studies Librarian

  • Falvey books and DVDs on the topic of the Stonewall Uprising
  • Gender Studies Database (Articles from scholarly and popular sources on Stonewall and the gay rights movement)
  • GenderWatch (Articles from non-mainstream magazines and newspapers, dating back to the 1970s, as well as scholarly articles and books)

 

Be sure to check out Falvey’s Diversity and Inclusion Subject Guide for more LGBTQ+ resources.

Click here for information about the various LGBTQ+ groups at Villanova University as well as to read and contribute to the resources gathered on the Diversity and Inclusion Subject Guide.


(This blog is was originally published June 20, 2018, in a slightly altered form.)
Sources:
Boeckman, J., Cracuin, C. & Goldberg, A., (June 15, 2018). LGBT pride month a time to celebrate, bring awareness. The News Press. Retrieved from https://www.news-press.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/06/15/lgbt-pride-month-time-celebrate-bring-awareness/701381002/
https://www.glaad.org/publications/pridekit 
https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/
Thomas, G.; (June, 2013) History of pride month. FEW’s News; Alexandria,  Vol. 45, Iss. 5, (Jun 2013). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1415379907/fulltext/54F38FC0B5FD4163PQ/1?accountid=14853
Photo by Lee Snider/Depositphotos.com

Joanne Quinn ’15 MA, ’84 CLAS is Director of Communication and Marketing at Falvey Memorial Library.


Like

Recommended Reading: Remembering the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Remembering the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, June 6, 1944, Falvey Memorial Library Staff shared their recommended reading on the battle and World War II.

sophie scholl and the white roseGeoff Scholl: Sophie Scholl and the White Rose by Annette Dumbach and Jud Newborn

Dave Burke: Stalingrad by Anthony Beevor; Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Michael Foight: Manzanar by Peter Wright, photography by Ansel Adams

Sarah Wingo: City of Thieves by David Benioff

Linda HauckAll The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marianne Watson: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand unbroken

Darren Poley: The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany by David Dalin

The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day  by Elie Wiesel

On Trial at Nuremberg by Airey Neave

Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie

Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward Beach

The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, OFM by Gereon Goldmann

The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Guadalcanal Diary by Richard Tregaskis

thirty seconds over tokyoThirty Seconds Over Tokyo by Ted W. Lawson and Robert Considine

Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen Ambrose

D-Day: The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat

At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon Prange, Donald Goldstein, and Katherine Dillon

Miracle at Midway by Gordon Prange, Donald Goldstein, and Katherine Dillon

Mister Roberts: Play in Two Acts by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial: A Drama In Two Acts by Herman Wouk

Joanne Quinn: Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin by Leon Uris

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman

Shawn Proctor: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Marc Gallicchio, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of History, who was named a winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize in American History and Diplomacy for his book Implacable Foes: War in the Pacific, 1944-1945, recommended American films that deal with aspects of war not normally captured on film. Below he shares his D-Day film recommendations:

 

The Longest Day (1962) “Offers the most comprehensive multi-national look at the different operations and services involved in bringing off the invasion. The Germans receive even-handed treatment and the scene of thousands of GIs moving ahead on Omaha beach outdoes in power similar scenes from Saving Private Ryan.

“Five directors worked on the film and they employed a star-studded international cast. The movie follows the story presented in Cornelius Ryan’s book of the same name. (Ryan also wrote A Bridge Too Far, which became a very good movie but which gave us one of the most vapid and overused clichés in the English language.)”

 

Saving Private RyanSteven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998) “Best remembered for its first thirty minutes in which viewers find themselves suddenly thrust into the terrifying experience of the GIs on Omaha Beach.

“The remainder of the movie unfolds like an extended episode of the 1960s television show Combat, except that the guest stars aren’t the only ones who get killed.”

 

Sam Fuller’s memoir/movie, The Big Red One (1980) “Has a brief segment on D-Day. The film shows how Fuller’s unit got to Normandy by way of North Africa and Italy and follows it through the campaign in France and into Germany to the end of the war.

“Although the violence does not come close to reaching the Tarantino levels of Saving Private Ryan,  The Big Red One is more disturbing and thought provoking than Spielberg’s blockbuster.”

 

The dark comedy/farce The Americanization of Emily (1964) “Hollywood’s most subversive movie, takes place in England during the build-up for the invasion but concludes with a memorable scene on Omaha Beach.”

 


Kallie Stahl, MA ’17 CLAS, is communication and marketing specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 


Like

Villanova’s English Faculty 2019 Summer Reading Recommendations

To incorrectly quote the musical Grease, “Summer readin’, had me a blast/summer reading, happened so fast/I met a book, crazy for me…”

When you’re not showing off, splashing around in the water this summer, consider checking out these lit picks for those hot summer days and nights, provided by Villanova’s English Faculty (originally run on the departmental blog and republished with permission.)

TSERING WANGMO

On my list is Francisco Cantu’s nonfiction The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border.

Cantu worked as an agent for the US Border Patrol for four years. The borderlands, he writes, “have slowly become a place where citizens are subject to distinct standards for search and detention, and where due process for noncitizens is often unrecognized as anything that might exist within the American legal system.”

I’m also looking forward to reading The Truth Commissioner by David Park. I (and the Writing Through Conflict) class had the chance to see the film based on his novel on the difficult subject of truth and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

The Line book cover

David Park The Truth Commissioner book cover
ELLEN BONDS

I plan to read Michael Ondaatje’s latest novel Warlight, about a parent-less brother and sister (they’re not orphans; their parents have moved away and left them) struggling to survive post-W. W. II London. I loved Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient and you may not be surprised to hear that I’m always interested in W.W.II stories.

Michael Ondaateje Warlight cover

ALAN DREW

If you’re looking for well-written crime fiction, try Richard Price’s Clockers. Genre fiction or not, Price is a fantastic writer who delivers complex characters, and deep insight into the socio-political problems and human frailty that help to cause crime.

Clockers Richard Price cover

KAMRAN JAVADIZADEH
This summer I hope to be rereading and writing about a book of poetry, Solmaz Sharif’s Look. One of the book’s epigraphs comes from Muriel Rukeyser: “During the war, we felt the silence in the policy of the English-speaking countries. That policy was to win the war first, and work out the meanings afterward. The result was, of course, that the meanings were lost.” Sharif’s poems look at our language—its silences, its euphemisms, its evasions—and, in another time of war, try to find the meanings again.

Look by Solmaz Sharif cover

CRYSTAL LUCKY

I am planning to read Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

Chosen as the 2019 ‘One Book, One Philadelphia’ selection, “the National Book Award-winning novel is set in the fictional town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and follows the story of one mixed-race family facing the impacts of racism, poverty, and incarceration.”

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn-Ward book cover

DAISY FRIED

I’d suggest Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic, Jeffrey Yang’s Hey Marfa and Paisley Rekdal’s Nightingale, all poetry or poetry/prose combos.

Hey Marfa by Jeffery Yang book cover

Nightinggale by Paisley Rekdal cover

MICHAEL BERTHOLD

I’m devoting some of my summer reading to exploring world classics I’ve somehow neglected and plan to begin with Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo.

The count of monte cristo alexandre dumas cover

ROBERT O’NEIL

This novel was published in 1988, but it has always stayed with me.

Palm Latitudes by Kate Braverman.

Braverman’s novel chronicles the lives of three women–a prostitute, a young housewife, and an old woman–as they confront and struggle through the violence-filled Mexican barrio in Los Angeles.  Each woman struggles against defeat within a beautiful, yet dangerous landscape that Braverman poetically creates.  Remnants of this work will stay with you and surprise you long after reading it.

Palm Latitudes by Kate Braverman cover

MEGAN QUIGLEY

I’m launching off the summer with the following: The Overstory by Richard Powers (I was once a naturalist who lived in the redwoods in California, so I think I will not be able to put this down!); the new Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me; I will read a collection of essays by Zadie Smith called Feel Free (since I just advised a great honors / English thesis by Meg Carter on Smith so she is on my mind), and, I admit it, I have been lured into a series of mysteries set in an idyllic (and evil) town in Canada by Louise Penny.  Beware, there are 15 of these, so maybe don’t get started if you feel like accomplishing anything else, the first is called Still Life.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Ian McEwan, Machines Like Me cover

Zadie Smith Feel Free book cover

Louise Penny Still Life book cover

MARY MULLEN

Isabella Hammad, The Parisian

I recently finished this novel and it has stayed with me. It’s a novel that has historical content—France and Palestine from around 1914 to 1936—but also historical form—it shares much with nineteenth-century classical realism (Zadie Smith compares Hammad to Flaubert and Stendhal, I might say George Eliot). Hammad’s use of realist conventions raises questions about Orientalism that the novel also addresses in its plot, showing how representing ordinary, everyday life is always a political act. I read the novel quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it but still find myself wondering about what it is trying to do and what it does.

Isabella Hammad, The Parisian book cover

ADRIENNE PERRY

A book I’m excited to read this summer is Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, by adrienne maree brown (all lower case). Several of my friends and colleagues from the arts and nonprofit worlds have recommended this book as an essential read. It’s supposed to be a good one for folks looking to combine social justice with radical joy.

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, by adrienne maree brown cover

EVAN RADCLIFFE

For lightness, comedy, and inventive language, nothing beats P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie and Jeeves stories, which pair the “mentally negligible” Bertie Wooster—the kind of person who says “Right Ho”—with his omni-competent valet Jeeves.  Set in England in the early 20th century, they feature various improbable scrapes from which Jeeves always rescues Bertie, but the plots hardly matter; it’s the way they speak that counts.  I’d start with the short story collections Carry On, Jeeves and Very Good, Jeeves.

P. G. Wodehouse book cover

ELYSHA CHANG

I’m looking forward to reading BOWLAWAY, Elizabeth McCracken’s latest novel. I am always struck by McCracken’s impeccable wit, oddball characters and mesmerizing style. , her story collection from 2014, is a brilliant, heart-breaking book for any short fiction readers out there!

THUNDERSTRUCK & OTHER STORIES book cover

JOE DRURY

This summer, I’ll be finishing The Guermantes Way (the Moncrieff translation, nach), the third book in Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. After that, I will be reading the final book in Elena Ferrante’s astonishing Neapolitan Quartet. I’m going to be in Edinburgh for a few days in July, so I will be taking Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie with me for the train.

And a recommendation: over winter break, I read and adored A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, first published in 1929. It’s a brilliant, sparkling, strange, and mesmerizing precursor of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, about a group of English children who are captured by pirates on their way to England from Jamaica, but turn out to be much more vicious and heartless than their captors.

The Guermantes Way cover

the lost child book cover

Muriel Spark book cover

A Hig hJamaica Wind Cover


Like

 


Last Modified: May 28, 2019