My God, this book.
It’s so hard to review classics, which admittedly is not often an issue for me. My reading history contains almost no classics. I didn’t go to school after the fifth grade, so I was never assigned any for school, and although I’ve always been an avid reader, I’ve never picked up classics on my own. I took a lit class last semester, and every single assigned reading, I thought “Well, I’m going to hate this.” Every single time, it totally blew my mind. Every single one, I couldn’t believe it had been out in the world all these years and everyone wasn’t talking about it all the time. I recognized things that more modern books had borrowed from each thing, and I felt my mind expand.
So this semester I took another lit class, which is totally unrelated to my degree. But I felt like I still wasn’t going to be good about picking up classics, and I wanted my mind to grow a little more. Which brings us to The Bluest Eye. Another one I probably would’ve gone my whole life without reading. Another one that completely knocked the wind out of me.
What can I possibly say about this book? It’s 46 years old. Probably everyone has read it. It’s basically about a young Black girl in the 1940s whose life is a total nightmare. Most of the chapters are about someone else, but it always circles back to Pecola. The writing is astonishing. The story is excruciating. I… just… wow. This review leaves a lot to be desired but I just can’t even find the right words.
Massive, towering, enormous content warning for sexual abuse.