CBR12 Bingo – UnCannon
This is a reread so my review is going to wander at times and focus on singular parts of the story. I also listened this audiobook while the last time I read it, I read it straight. I also was strangely walking around Richmond as I listened and they’ve been taking down Confederate statues this week and they’ve be scrubbing and cleaning up spaces not Confederate (or linked) also tagged by graffiti, so there’s a funny contrast of what the city has protected and fixed and what they haven’t.
That leads me to the first thought I really had about this book on the reread. This is a city book, and generally Toni Morrison doesn’t write city books. In fact, my familiarity with her work being fairly decent, scanning all the books, they mostly take place in small towns, rural areas, or on the road. And this one uses the language and tempo of jazz to work within this specifically urban space, and it’s a real change you can feel. It’s almost the difference between a Toni Morrison book and not one. It’s the way that Tar Baby feels like it’s by a completely different author. That said, Toni Morrison is a kind of literary trickster and I think these two novels show how when she plays in other kinds of writing (the city novel, the post-colonial novel/Caribbean), she can still dominate that space in amazing ways. A joke version of this point was the ways in which David Bowie was a rock genre chameleon.