This week’s state… Ohio!

ohio river by spisharam This weeks state...  Ohio!
Photo by spisharam

I’m going out on my own again this week and will be curious to see Melanie Jones’ pick for Ohio in the future.  My pick for Ohio is one of the most unprecedented and peerless contemporary writers — Toni Morrison. 

Now if you have read one of her novels, then you already know that it is a journey through darkness and pain, but ultimately rewarding and even life-altering.  The first novel I read by Morrison was Beloved and had to put it down periodically just to recover from the relentless, unflinching agony she recreates.  I think her artistry as a writer is best showcased in Jazz, but I haven’t read Song of Solomon yet, and I once heard a teacher of the year cite it as the novel she would choose to teach if she could only teach one novel for the rest of her life!  Why haven’t I read it yet?  Because I assume I will be in for a world of hurt and am not brave enough yet…  But I will be…

barn by listen missy1 This weeks state...  Ohio!
Photo by Listen Missy!

Now, which of her novels best represents Ohio?  I think  The Bluest Eye (Vintage International) This weeks state...  Ohio!
is the appropriate choice:

The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful as beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigold in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change — in painful, devastating ways. With its vivid evocation of the feat and loneliness at the heart of a child’s yearning, and the tragedy of it’s fulfillment, The Bluest Eye remains on of Toni Morrison’s most powerful, unforgettable novels – and a significant work of American fiction.

bridge by spisharam This weeks state...  Ohio!

Photo by spisharam
I wholeheartedly agree and would love to hear what others think, too… 

Curious about the other states we’ve covered?

us map by marxchivist This weeks state...  Ohio!
Photo by marxchivist

First, from Melanie Jones:

And I went out on my own for…

Wondering where your state is? Coming soon…  In the meantime, weigh in on future picks!

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9 Responses to This week’s state… Ohio!

  1. Anna says:

    Hey, I thought you might be interested in this:http://discussions.mnhs.org/collections/?cat=72. It’s a blog from the MN Historical Society on the top 150 MN Books. They are only up to seven, but the reviews are pretty cool!

  2. Anna says:

    Hey, I thought you might be interested in this: http://discussions.mnhs.org/collections/?cat=72. It’s a blog from the MN Historical Society on the top 150 MN Books. They are only up to seven, but the reviews are pretty cool!

  3. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Anna! You’re right — great reviews! So far I’ve only read Giants in the Earth…

  4. Kevin J. Hayes says:

    Since you responded to my blog, let me respond to yours. Ohio, my home state, has lots of fine writers, including Hart Crane and William Dean Howells. For a good overview, the Ohio Center for the Book has released the Ohio Literary Map. See
    http://www.ohiocenterforthebook.org/files/map/map.pdf

  5. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Kevin! What a great document, too. It has been interesting to learn about the rich literary history of certain states — like Ohio. I appreciate your comment!

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