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Acknowledging ambivalence: the creation of communal memory in the writing of Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison exclaimed to Paul Gilroy in 1993 'Just as long as they don't call me a magic realist, as though I don't have a culture to write out of'. This comment reveals an underlying anxiety in Morrison's work concerning the indefinite characteristics of African American cultural identity. Morrison seeks to address this insecurity by creating an African American cultural memory with her readership through mutual acts of the imagination. In order to achieve this her writing encourages the imaginative participation of the reader in the text through oral storytelling techniques and, despite Morrison's disclaimer, through magic realist devices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-23
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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