Author: La Vinia Delois Jennings
Author info: Associate Professor of English
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Synopsis: Toni Morrison’s fiction has been read as a contribution to and critique of Western civilization and Christianity. Jennings reveals the fundamental role African traditional religious symbols play in her work. Based on extensive research into West African religions and philosophy, Jennings uncovers and interprets the African themes, images and cultural resonances in Morrison’s fiction. She shows how symbols brought to the Americas by West African slaves are used by Morrison in her landscapes, interior spaces, and the bodies of her characters. Jennings’s analysis of these symbols shows how a West African collective worldview informs both Morrison’s work, and contemporary African-American life and culture.