Showing posts with label Toni Morrison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toni Morrison. Show all posts

Friday, June 13, 2014

#FridayReads: Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

A major debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.

Tiphanie Yanique is from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. The author of the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, she is a 2010 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award winner and was named by the National Book Awards as one of 2011’s “5 Under 35.”  She teaches at the New School and lives in Brooklyn and Saint Thomas

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Barbie is a Ho!

It's enough to make a grown girl cry!

I was reading the Economist yesterday evening on the train and came accross their book review for The Real Toy Story: Inside the Ruthless Battle for America's Youngest Consumers by Eric Clark.

According to the book:

"Several decades ago, Barbie's creator, Ruth Handler, saw a Swiss doll called Lilli, voluptuous and wearing heels. She was just what Ms Handler wanted for a blockbuster new doll. Ignoring traditional marketeers—shocked by Barbie's breasts—she began an uphill battle in California to manufacture this sexy creature, so unlike cuddly baby dolls. What she did not know was that Lilli was based on a prostitute in “a German adult cartoon aimed at men.”"

How ironic or maybe just plain sad, that the busty, blue-eyed, plastic icon of so many childhood girl's dreams is modeled on a whore?

What does that say about us, about how society views women, and the message we send our kids through our acceptance of these norms?

I remember that when I read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, I really understood Pecola Breedlove's desire to be just like her blue-eyed doll because I also dreamed of growing up to look just like my sexy, blue-eyed Barbie - perfect.

But part of me, even as a child, was repulsed by my Barbie's phoney perfection, and I desired a raven-haired doll, one that captured my mother's beauty, a breathtaking, Latina infused version of Elizabeth Taylor and Lynda Carter. When I finally got a black-haired Barbie I found that sadly she just wasn't as "pretty" as my idealized white Barbie.

And, if anyone thinks this has changed today, then they should watch this:

The video was produced by a high school student.

You can watch news coverage of it here:
Toni Morrison had it right!
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