Toni Morrison: A Mercy (4937 words)

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Toni Morrison’s ninth novel, A Mercy (2008, Knopf), unfolds in 1682-1690 Virginia and Maryland and dramatizes the lives of a diverse array of characters whose different and simultaneously interlocked experiences of uprootedness and migration construct a compact narrative of life in the colonial settlements during a period when America was still “ad hoc territory” (AM 11). Contingent, precarious and fluid, America as the author re-imagines it is far removed from idealizing scripts of the New World as a pristine land of plenty in which English settlers were called upon to fulfill their historic destiny; Morrison’s colonial America is “a mess” (AM 8), infiltrated by people of …

Maragou, Helena. "A Mercy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 October 2017
[, accessed 19 February 2018.]

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