Considering Toni Morrison at 90

I had the somewhat frightening (intimidating?) experience of receiving Toni Morrison’s collection of essays and lectures, The Source of Self-Regard before its publication in 2019. [Here is the review I wrote for the smart folks at Bitch Media]. Unlike Ms. Morrison’s fiction, which I sometimes just did not understand (A Mercy, Paradise) or which I […]

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Cut Me Loose | Oxford American Winter 2019

So on Mother’s Day, I wandered around Orangeburg to make peace with the parts of Marguerite I didn’t quite know but which still clung to me like smoke. Early in the morning, I parked my rental across the street from the Edisto Memorial Gardens, home to fifty-four varieties of roses. Babbling in the background was […]

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My 2004 interview with Octavia Butler

“I’m black. I’m solitary. I’ve always been an outsider.” This is how Octavia Butler described herself, the first self-possessed Black woman writer introvert, I had the honor of writing about for publication. Actually interviewing her was one of the great honors of my life, two years before her death in 2006. I wonder what she […]

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