Song of Solomon
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Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.
his childhood nightmares to grab him, and he’d lived through that. Some bats had driven him out of a cave–and he’d lived through that. And at no time did he have a weapon. Now he walked into a store and asked if somebody could fix his car and a nigger pulled a knife on him. And he still wasn’t dead. Now what did these black Neanderthals think they were going to do? Fuck ’em. My name’s Macon; I’m already dead. He had thought this place, this Shalimar, was going to be home. His original home. His
into the lobby of the station. He believed he’d lost her. He’d never find out what train she was taking. He thought again of going back home. It was late, he was exhausted, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know any more about his mother. But having come this far, he realized it was foolish to turn back now and leave things forever up in the air. He parked in the lot and walked slowly toward the station. Maybe she’s not taking a train, he thought. Maybe he meets her in the station. He looked
shriveling and falling down green.” He turned to her and smiled. “You said it was important.” He was not angry, not even irritated, and he enjoyed his equanimity. “It is important. Very important.” Her voice was soft; she kept on staring at the tree. “Then tell me. I’ve got to go to work in a few minutes.” “I know. But you can spare me a minute, can’t you?” “Not to stare at a dead bush, I can’t.” “It’s not dead yet. But it will be soon. The leaves aren’t turning this year.” “Lena, you been
told me they lived in a cave for a few days after they left this house.” “Is that right? Must have been Hunters Cave. Hunters used it to rest up in there sometimes. Eat. Smoke. Sleep. That’s where they dumped Old Macon’s body.” “They who? I thought … My father said he buried him. Down by a creek or a river someplace where they used to fish.” “He did. But it was too shallow and too close to the water. The body floated up at the first heavy rain. Those children hadn’t been gone a month when it
“I didn’t mean…I…” But Mr. Garnett had reached over and closed the door. Milkman could see him shaking his head as he drove off. Milkman’s feet hurt him so, he could have cried, but he made it to the diner/bus station and looked for the man behind the counter. He wasn’t there, but a woman offered to help. There followed a long discussion in which he discovered that the bag was not there, the man was not there, she didn’t know if a colored boy had picked it up or not, they didn’t have a