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Toni Morrison - A Mercy (2nd Hand Hardback)

SKU B003274
1 available
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Original price
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A Mercy is Toni Morrison's ninth novel. It was published in 2008. Set in colonial America in the late 17th century, it is the story of a European farmer, his purchased wife, and his growing household of indentured or enslaved white, Native American, and African characters.

In the 1680's the slave trade was still in its infancy. In the Americas, virulent religious and class division, prejudice and oppression were rife, providing the fertile soil in which slavery and race hatred were carefully planted and took root.

Jacob is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a smallholding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in 'flesh', he takes a small slave girl, in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, 'with the hands of a slave and the feet of a Portuguese lady', who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Florens is hungry for love, at first from the older servant woman at her new master's house; but later, when she's sixteen, from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives . . .

And all of them have stories: Lina, the native American servant, whose tribe was decimated by smallpox; their mistress Rebekka, herself a victim of religious fervour back in England; young Sorrow, daughter of a sea captain who's spent too many years at sea to be quite . . . normal; and, finally, there's Florens's own mother back home in Maryland. This is their plight - men and women inventing themselves in the wilderness.

A Mercy reveals what lies under the surface of slavery, and the opening chapter of the story of sugar, that great maw which was to eat up millions of lives. But at its heart, like Beloved, this is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter in a violent ad-hoc world - a world where acts of mercy, like everything else, have unforeseen consequences.

  • Format : Standard 2nd Hand Hardback
  • Condition : Very Good
  • Category : Fiction - Historical Fiction
  • Published : 2008 (Chatto & Windus - 1st Edition, 1st Printing)
  • ISBN : 9780701180454
  • SKU : B003274
  • PPC : SP400gm
  • RRP : £15.99
  • Quantity Available : 1 only.
External Reviews

'A Mercy is so enthralling that you'll want to read it more than once' - The Sunday Times.

'. . . for all its restraint . . . A Mercy is a furious novel, a volley of anger, contempt and sorrow' - The Herald.

'Varied and authoritative and frequently beautiful' - The New Yorker.

`. . . carries great emotional force' - Independent on Sunday.

`Morrison writes passages of undeniable beauty' - Spectator.

`Morrison's prose is confident and secure, her language masterful . . . This is another penetrating and profoundly disquieting view of America's past' - Historical Novels Review.

`Unsettling, exquisitely written, and deeply moving, it's an amazing piece of work' - The Gloss.

'A challenging, disorientating way of reading and as soon as you finish A Mercy, the novel demands that you start it again.' - Scotland on Sunday.

The Author

Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison, known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Featured Authors . . . Toni Morrison

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