"The Bluest Eye"

Ruby Dee and Toni Morrison read an excerpt from Morrison's award-winning debut novel, published in 1970.

Published January 7, 2002 9:00AM (EST)

Toni Morrison has written seven novels, among them "Beloved," "The Bluest Eye" and "Jazz." She has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize, as well as the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Her first novel, "The Bluest Eye," published in 1970, is the story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove -- 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. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

"[Morrison's writing is] richly revelatory not only of human nature but of the troubled history of black America." -- Brooke Allen, N.Y. Times Book Review

Listen to excerpts of "The Bluest Eye," read by Toni Morrison and actress Ruby Dee, courtesy of Random House Audio.

By Salon Staff

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