Alice Sundman
Routledge, 2022

Front cover

How does Toni Morrison create and form her literary places? As one of the first studies exploring Morrison’s archived drafts, notes, and manuscripts together with her published novels, this book offers fresh insights into her creative processes. It analyses the author’s textual choices, her writerly strategies, and her process of writing, all combining in shaping her literary places.

In a methodology combining close reading and genetic criticism, the book examines Morrison’s writing—her drafting and crafting—of her fictional places. Focusing primarily on the novels Beloved (1987), Paradise (1997), and A Mercy (2008), it analyses particular instances of written places, illuminating the manifold ways in which they are formed as text, and showing the centrality of the ideas of joining in Beloved, transformation in Paradise, and articulation in A Mercy.

Toni Morrison is a major literary figure in contemporary literature, and commonly considered one of the most influential American writers of the post-1960s era. Investigating the conjunction of her texts and manuscripts, this book continues, extends, and supplements the rich body of Morrison scholarship by illuminating how the genesis and formation of her multifaceted literary places constitute vital parts of her fictional writing.