Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison powerfully examines our obsession with beauty and conformity—and asks questions about race, class, and gender with her characteristic subtly and grace.
In Morrison’s bestselling first novel, Pecola Breedlove—an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others—prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
Here, Morrison’s writing is “so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry” (The New York Times).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Nobel and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Toni Morrison’s debut novel has been met with controversy over the decades due to its unblinking portrayals of racism, inequality, and sexual violence. The Bluest Eye follows the lives of two young Black girls in a small Ohio town in the 1940s. The engrossing novel reflects the harsh realities of its time and place, but Morrison’s lyrical writing and powerful empathy for her characters shine bright. The result is a sobering yet ultimately hopeful vision of how Black women are taught to see themselves and others.
This story had a slow beginning, but once I got into the story, it made me want to read it all the way to the end. The message behind the story made me personally reflect on my own idea of beauty and what society believes is beautiful.
One of the most amazing and most detailed books I have ever read. Toni Morrison’s words brought real life senses, emotions, and images to me. She is truly a gifted artist.
Tough but Beautiful
The Bluest Eye is not for the faint of heart. Morrison’s writing is raw, evocative, and heartbreaking. The black America of this time was never so artfully or honestly portrayed. Morrison weaves together a story of pain, love, suffering, tenderness, faith, love, and hatred with such craftmanship. The Bluest Eye is a difficult but magnificent novel.