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Liz Phair

Toni Morrison’s miraculous prose is a show-stopper in this novel. It is the first time I remember being awestruck by an author’s talent. The blunt, colloquial dialogue punctuating a more nimble and filigreed narration style is a rhythm I have borrowed from heavily in my own work. Her ability to embrace the supernatural while never straying far from the familiar imbues the story with a fairy-tale quality in the old school sense, where horror shadows everyday life and wonder awaits you just around the corner. I grew up in Cincinnati, and my grandparents’ home in Indian Hill had a false wall for harboring men and women fleeing slavery in Kentucky. I felt deeply connected to this book, as if I were reading it as a member of Sethe and Denver’s troubled household in their tightly woven African-American community.

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