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A novel. Stated first edition. SIGNED by the author on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket.; 167 pages. N° de ref. de la librería
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Sinopsis: Book by Morrison Toni
"A horrifying act stood at the center of Toni Morrison's 1987 masterwork, Beloved: a runaway slave, caught in her effort to escape, cuts the throat of her baby daughter with a handsaw, determined to spare the girl the fate she herself has suffered as a slave. A similarly indelible act stands at the center of Ms. Morrison's remarkable new novella, A Mercy, a small, plangent gem of a story that is, at once, a kind of prelude to Beloved and a variation on that earlier book's exploration of the personal costs of slavery-a system that moves men and women and children around 'like checkers' and casts a looming shadow over both parental and romantic love.
Set some 200 years before Beloved, A Mercy
conjures up the beautiful, untamed, lawless world that was America in the 17th century with the same sort of lyrical, verdant prose that distinguished that earlier novel. . . . Ms. Morrison has rediscovered an urgent, poetic voice that enables her to move back and forth with immediacy and ease between the worlds of history and myth, between ordinary daily life and the realm of fable. . . . A heartbreaking account of lost innocence and fractured dreams, [that] also stands, with Beloved,
as one of Ms. Morrison's most haunting works yet."
-Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Spellbinding . . . Dazzling . . . [A Mercy
] stands alongside Beloved
as a unique triumph in Morrison's body of work. The lush poetry and amorphous structure of [the novel] reflect the story's distant setting in the mist of America's creation, when independence and the three-fifths compromise of the Constitution were still a century away. . . . Morrison, who has written so powerfully of catastrophe, cruelty and horror, here adds to that song of tragedy equally thrilling chords of desire and wonder, which in their own way are no less tragic. Where Beloved
ends with the cathartic exhaustion of an exorcism, A Mercy
concludes with an ambiguous kind of prayer, redolent with possibility and yearning but inspired by despair. This rich little masterpiece is a welding of poetry and history and psychological acuity that you must not miss."
-Ron Charles, The Washington Post Book World
"Luminous and complex . . . In Beloved,
Morrison told the story of Sethe, a woman who murdered her own child rather than see her sold into slavery. Early on in A Mercy,
we watch a mother do the opposite-she puts her daughter Florens up for sale . . . It's a less bloody moment, but in its way it's no less chilling. A Mercy
is that daughter's tale. . . . Morrison is mooting the perversely hopeful possibility that slavery could have existed without racism or at least without racism as we know it. She lavishes some of her best writing in years on [A Mercy
's] pre-Revolutionary world . . . A Mercy
shows us America in the moment before race madness ruined it-it is a wounded land, but the wound has not yet turned septic. . . . In A Mercy,
Morrison is urging her younger self, the tortured soul who fashioned the infernal vision that is Beloved,
to look even further-beyond the veil of pain and anger, however righteous, to hope. There was a time before the present misery, Morrison seems to be telling herself. And therefore, maybe, there will be a time after it."
-Lev Grossman, Time
"Magnificent . . . As with all Morrison's finest work, A Mercy
compellingly combines immediacy and obliquity. Its evocation of pioneer existence in America surrounds you with sensuous intensity. . . . An attack by a bear is described with thrilling power. . . . Idioms have potent directness, too. . . . Rich knowledgeability about 17th-century America is put to telling effect. Voices speak to you as if you were there. . . . The book keeps you vividly aware of the vital human individuality that racism's crude categorizations are brutally trying to iron out. . . . A stark story of the evils of possessiveness and the perils of dispossession emerges slantwise. Hints, suspicions, secrets, ambivalences, scarcely acknowledged motives and barely noticeable nuances serve as signposts to enormities and desperations: around slavery's large-scale uprootings, Morrison spotlights individual instances of loss (orphans and outcasts are, as often in her fiction, much in evidence; compensatory alliances they form are warmly portrayed). A Mercy
is so enthralling that you'll want to read it more than once. On each occasion, it further reveals itself as a masterpiece of rewarding complexity."
-Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times
"In [A Mercy,
] a mother chooses to give her daughter to a stranger, the man who will 'own' her, in hopes that she'll find a better life. It is this act from which the book derives its title, but it is, of course, an ambivalent gesture whose tragic resonance will be slowly unveiled. . . . Morrison here is seeking some deeper truth about what she once called 'the presence of the unfree within the heart of the democratic experiment.' Some regard this novel as a kind of prelude to Beloved,
but the author has even more provocative ideas at play. . . . In writing about the horror of slavery, she finds a kind of ragged hope."
-Renee Graham, Boston Sunday Globe
] examines slavery through the prism of power, not race. Morrison achieves this by setting A Mercy
in 1680s America, when slavery was a color-blind, equal-opportunity state of misery, not yet the rigid, peculiar institution it would become. . . . Morrison doesn't write traditional novels so much as create a hypnotic state of poetic intoxication. You don't read A Mercy,
you fall into a miasma of language and symbolism. [It] offers an original vision of America in its primeval state, where freedom was a rare commodity."
-Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
"[Toni Morrison] bound[s] into literature with her new book as if it were the first time, with the spry energy of a doe. A Mercy
. . . is that beguiling and beautiful, that deftly condensed, that sinewy with imaginative sentences, lyric flight and abundant human sensitivity. . . . Finely hammered phrases repeatedly come off the anvil, forming a story as powerful as the many she has shaped before. Elements of this writer's art from way back remain part of her achievement here. Like a mighty telescope perched on a contemporary plateau, Morrison draws in signals, moods, torments, exhilarations from African American life and history . . . Morrison mixes the verbal music of an era with idiosyncratic wisdom, delivered indirectly rather than ex cathedra, recalling omniscient Russian masters without imitating them. . . . Along the way come moments whose artistry freezes one's page-turning. Morrison's tactile reports rivet . . . What's the opposite of 'lazy' in a fiction writer's style and research? Industrious? Indefatigable? Morrison wears her knowledge lightly, yet every page exhibits her control of [the 17th century's] objects and artifacts, its worries and dangers. She surrounds A Mercy
's more fanciful arabesques with a broad border of realism. . . . A book as masterfully wrought as A Mercy
behooves its author to swagger. Go to it, Ms. Morrison."
-Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Inquirer
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