In order to commemorate Banned Books Week, I'm posting my favorite banned book ever: The Bluest Eye. The Bluest Eye was banned for its depictions of violence and incest. Undoubtedly, these sections of the narrative are tough to get through, but they are sad realities that deserve exploration. I love this book in more ways than I can fully express. It tackles these issues and it weaves history and trauma so intricately together. It's #1 on my list (right before Marguerite Duras' The Lover).
I could write pages and pages about why this book is amazing. From the unconventional narrative structure, to the sympathetic reading of evil, the exploration of Black girlhood, the questioning of family secrecy, and the oddly young narrator, this book pushed important literary and cultural boundaries.
I always think that if this book were to be shopped to an agent or a publisher today, in 2016, it would have been rejected. It's not very linear, it kind of leaves some important plot information out, the characters are developed in an atypical way, and it goes off on a few random tangents. Basically, it does not fit into the contemporary "Writers Workshop" style of writing that, to me, is so exhaustingly boring, generic and Caucasian. Toni Morrison tells story like a lot of Black grandmothers and mothers tell stories: starting at a focal point, looping around a couple times, walking out on a few bridges, but coming right on back to the focal point at the end. So, aside for the riveting subject matter, I also love this book for its literary representation of the Black oral story-telling tradition. This narrative is raw, and it is unconventional, but it is so self-assured. I could go on and on (and on), but I think I'll stop right here. If you have not read this book, please do yourself a favor and read it.