Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 12, 2023
December 5, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
The first African-American to win the Nobel Prize in literature, Toni Morrison is an important figure in literary debates concerning how and why one writes about a specific racial or cultural group. By the middle of the twentieth century, civil rights demonstrations and discussions about racial injustice began to shape literary and academic debates. Writers began to feel that marginalized groups, whether women, Black individuals, or Hispanics, were not finding their voice in an artistic world erected and maintained by white males. As a key player in the creation of a Black literary aesthetic, Morrison has sought, over the course of her literary career, to create an alternative to dominant assumptions about how we read and write about a people. As a member of an oppressed social group and as a woman, Morrison is interested in what it means to be subordinated and made invisible. Her writing is embraced by feminist critics who regard her prose style as distinctively female and who see her work as a continuation of Virginia Woolf's stream-of-consciousness narration.
Morrison was born in the small steel-mill town of Lorain, Ohio on February 18th, 1931. The second of four children, Morrison was christened "Chloe Anthony Wofford" but changed her name to "Toni" when she was an undergraduate at university. Her home state of Ohio reflects Morrison's own interest in the hybrid African-American experience as it combines the northern industrial feel of its big cities with a southern atmosphere and rural history. Morrison's family history also mirrors her interest in that her grandparents had migrated to Ohio from the Deep South. Through them, Morrison became familiar with southern Black lore.
Morrison received her BA in English from Howard University and went on to get her master's in English at Texas Southern University. Returning to teach at Howard University, Morrison married a Jamaican architect with whom she had two sons. The couple divorced in the mid-sixties and Morrison began a publishing career with Random House, eventually becoming one of their senior editors. She began writing a short story in the late sixties that she was encouraged to expand into a novel. This first novel was called The Bluest Eye and was published in 1970. Since then Morrison has come out with a new novel every couple of years, following The Bluest Eye with Sula (1977), Song of Solomon (1977), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987) and finally Jazz, published in 1992. In the late eighties Morrison began teaching at Princeton University where she continues to write cultural and literary criticism. Her best-known critical piece, entitled, "Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination," appeared in 1992. Her one play, Dreaming Emmett, tells the true story of a fourteen-year old Black boy who is murdered for allegedly whistling after a white woman. Like her other works, Jazz draws from a specific historical moment, the Harlem Renaissance, and seeks to embody, both in its form and in its themes, the culture and feeling of the era. While Morrison objects to the term "magic realism" when applied to her work, novels such as Jazz reflect a distinctive mix of fantasy and reality and a blurring of internal and external worlds. While Morrison has worked towards creating alternative models for African-American fiction she has courted controversy among scholars and readers who object to her endeavors to re-tell a cultural legacy.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Jazz!