Friday, March 25, 2022

Review: Recitatif: A Story

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

I listened to the audio edition of the only short story Toni Morrison ever wrote, narrated by Bahni Turpen. If you get the audio, which is under two hours, the story doesn't start until 59:21, because the entire first half is an essay on the story by Zadie Smith. I'm of the personal opinion that one should read the work before reading commentary on said work, and continue to skip intros, prefaces, and more.

The story is "an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial" - so either the reader knows this going in and goes looking for clues, or doesn't know this and makes a lot of assumptions and then is forced to confront themselves with their biases.

Twyla and Roberta meet as 8 year olds at a school for orphans, and then several more times as they move through time.

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