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Morrison to address cultural affirmation

The History of Beloved and the Culture of Jazz

A lecture by Toni Morrison.
Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m.
Kresge Auditorium.

By Joanna Stone
Arts Editor

Seniors like myself can all remember getting a book in the mail four years ago and being told to read it, digest it, and allow it to hopefully alter our views of the world. That book was Beloved, by Toni Morrison.

Last week, Morrison released her new book, Jazz, a tragic love story set in Harlem in 1926. Next week, she will be the featured speaker at the 1992 William L. Abramowitz Lecture entitled "The History of Beloved and the Culture of Jazz." The lecture has reserved preferential seating for seniors, and will serve as a sort of culmination of seniors' years of higher education and broadened horizons. However, the lecture is open to the community as a whole, and I heartily recommend that anyone who can get tickets do so. This will be one of Morrison's only public appearances in conjunction with her new novel.

Morrison is recognized as a pivotal author in the course of twentieth century literature. She won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved and has already received national acclaim for Jazz.

Not everyone in the class of 1992 liked Beloved and not everyone likes Morrison's style. But that style is unique, as is Morrison's message -- a powerful one that forces Americans to think about the history of their country and their ancestors and to question their own cultural awareness and understanding.

In addition to the lecture, there will be a special breakfast with Toni Morrison for seniors on Friday, from 9 to 11 a.m. in Twenty Chimneys, and a book signing from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Twenty Chimneys. These events are free. Tickets for the lecture are available at the Information Booth in the Student Center. Also, look for "Readings From the Works of Toni Morrison," a film produced and directed by Jill B. Soley '92, which will be running on MIT Cable next week.