Song of Solomon
Title: Song of Solomon
Author: Toni Morrison
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. As Morrison follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, she introduces the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, a novel of large beauty and power, creates a magical world out of four generations of black life in America, a world we enter on the day of the birth of Macon Dead, Jr. (known as Milkman), son of the richest black family in a mid-western town; the day on which the lonely insurance man, Robert Smith, poised in blue silk wings, attempts to fly from a steeple of the hospital, a black Icarus looking homeward…
We see Milkman growing up in his father’s money and death-haunted house with his silent sisters and strangely passive mother, beginning to move outward – through his profound love and combat with his friend Guitar… through Guitar’s mad and loving commitment to the secret avengers called the Seven Days… through Milkman’s exotic, imprisoning affair with his love-blind cousin, Hagar… and through his unconscious apprenticeship to his mystical Aunt Pilate, who saved his life before he was born.
And we follow him as he strikes out alone; moving first toward adventure and then—as the unspoken truth about his family and his own buried heritage announces itself—toward an adventurous and crucial embrace of life.
This is a novel that expresses, with passion, tenderness, and a magnificence of language, the mysterious primal essence of family bond and conflict, the feelings and experience of all people wanting, and striving, to be alive.