"Makes a valuable contribution to the ever-widening field of Morrison studies by exploring the intricacies of Morrison's African references, giving critics the ability to make more informed readings of the novels."--Canadian Review of American Studies "A study of African cosmology and epistemology in Morrison's writings that draws on the academic author's experience in the Kongo and Yoruba traditions."--Chronicle Review "Addresses a real need: a scholarly and ritually informed reading of spirituality in the work of a major African American author. No other work catalogues so thoroughly the grounding of Morrison's work in African cosmogonies. Zauditu-Selassie's many readings of Ba Kongo and Yoruba spiritual presence in Morrison's work are incomparably detailed and generally convincing."--Keith Cartwright, University of North Florida While others have studied the African spiritual ideas and values encoded in Morrison's work, African Spiritual Traditions in the Novels of Toni Morrison is the most comprehensive. In this volume, K. Zauditu-Selassie explores a wide range of complex concepts, including African deities, ancestral ideas, spiritual archetypes, mythic trope, and lyrical prose representing African spiritual continuities. She delves deeply into African spiritual traditions, clearly explaining the meanings of African cosmology and epistemology as manifest in Morrison's novels.
Zauditu-Selassie is uniquely positioned to write this book, as she is not only a literary critic but also a practicing Obatala priest in the Yoruba spiritual tradition and a Mama Nganga in the Kongo spiritual system. The result is a comprehensive, tour-de-force critical investigation of such works as The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Paradise, Love, Beloved, and Jazz.
About the Author
K. Zauditu-Selassie is professor of English at Coppin State University, Baltimore.