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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Recitatif: A Story by Toni Morrison

Recitatif: A Story Recitatif: A Story by Toni Morrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

RECITATIF is Toni Morrison’s only short story and is a study in racial identity. The story of Twyla and Roberta bounces throughout their lives from when they meet as young girl at the St. Bonaventure shelter and again as they encounter each other at different points in their lives. Everything is told from Twyla’s first person perspective, and we see how racial tensions put a strain on their friendship built in the past. The important part of this story is that Morrison makes it very clear from the beginning that one little girl is Black and the other white, but she never makes clear which girl is which race, leaving it up to the reader to make their own decisions based on their own biases as to who is who. It’s a fascinating study. There’s nothing overt in either woman’s description, from either the time they are young girls or at any other point throughout their lives, that would point to either being Black or white, yet as the reader, I felt compelled to make a decision in my head, but I’ll keep that decision to myself. @aaknopf

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