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Recitatif
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
22 posts | 25 read | 26 to read
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rmaclean4
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Toni Morrison's only short story. Two girls meet in a state orphanage at the age of 8. One is black and one is white...and Morrison never lets the reader know which girl is which race. Brilliant introduction by Zadie Smith. Fast Brilliant read. 5 🌟 #52bookclub23 #under200 @LauraReads @KarenUK @britt_brooke @CarolynM @Smarkies @LeeRHarry @Clwojick @BookBelle84 @jennifer80 @Librarybelle @triplem80 @AshleyHoss820 @Read4life @Bluebird @squirrelbrain

squirrelbrain Sounds great! 4d
jlhammar I read this last February - so good! 4d
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Librarybelle Good choice! 4d
Clwojick This sounds great! 4d
BarbaraBB I just read this one too. So good! 4d
34 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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AmyK1
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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I hadn‘t heard of this short story until @wideeyedreader told me about it a few months ago. As others have said it was thought provoking and in the end I‘m okay with not knowing which girl was which.

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BarbaraBB
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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This was a thought provoking short story, the only one Morrison ever wrote. The concept of writing a story without racial coding about two girls (Twyla and Roberta) of different race for whom race is vital makes for an interesting experiment.

I read somewhere that apparently you can tell the race of the reader by what race they think Twyla is. An interesting thought!
Also, Zadie Smith‘s introduction is excellent.

Teresereading I heardLe Var Burton read it on his podcast a while back. Engrossing. 1mo
Megabooks So glad you like your booksleeve! 💜😘 1mo
BarbaraBB @Teresereading It makes for a good discussion I think! 1mo
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I love it! I hadn‘t owned one before but it‘s perfect for traveling! 1mo
73 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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MsLeah8417
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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JackieGreco
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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This was a thought provoking short story about two girls, one white and one black, but intentionally unmentioned which girl is which race. It forces self reflection as a reader because you want to determine who is who and rely on biases to do so, although unsuccessfully. 5/5

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Hooked_on_books
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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I was glad I saw other reviewers suggesting one first read Morrison‘s story, then Smith‘s intro, which examines the story and, frankly, spoils it, as I read them in exactly that order. I enjoyed both, as well as my own response to and conclusions from the story.

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BeaG
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Toni Morrisson never disappoint me. This short story was amazing. I skipped the introduction by Zadie Smith. It started to sound like Charlie Brown‘s teacher. You only need to listen to it if you want the spoiler for the actual story.

Kristin_Reads I agree! I wish they had put Smith‘s part as an afterword instead of at the front! 8mo
BeaG @Kristin_Reads Yes!!! 8mo
31 likes1 stack add2 comments
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LibrarianChels
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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This is a cleverly written short story that brings together two characters, one black and one white. But who is of what race? Like Zadie Smith discusses in the intro, as a reader your assumptions turn with the page. It‘s frustrating to not have the answer, but satisfying when you experience that we are one humanity.

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underground_bks
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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In this one and only short story ever penned by the great Toni Morrison, Twyla and Roberta meet as children in an orphanage then again as women and then as mothers. Their relationship is deeply impacted by their contrasting racial identities and yet we never find out who is Black and who is white. Morrison called Recitatif an experiment, and as Zadie Smith writes in her introduction, “The subject of the experiment is the reader.” —Zadie Smith

Zoes_Human If you do audio at all, there is an episode of the LeVar Burton Reads podcast where he reads this one. His narration is, as ever, masterful and I enjoy his after commentary. 9mo
underground_bks @Zoes_Human yes! I listened to this audio through Libro.fm, it was narrated by Zadie Smith and Bahni Turpin. It would be fun to hear LeVar Burton narrate though! 9mo
34 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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ReadingEnvy
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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I listened to the audio edition of the only short story Toni Morrison ever wrote, narrated by Bahni Turpen. If you get the audio, which is under two hours, the story doesn't start until 59:21, because the entire first half is an essay on the story by Zadie Smith. I'm of the personal opinion that one should read the work before reading commentary on said work, and continue to skip intros, prefaces, and more. ↘️

Sapphire I agree about commentary. Thanks for the warning. 11mo
56 likes1 comment
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KatieDid927
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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The story is brilliant. I do have a massive issue with the intro by Zadie Smith. I‘m glad I read other reviews that said to skip it. It‘s completely inappropriate as an introduction, and epitomizes why I hate intros. Smith gives away the entire plot and then analyzes it to death. It strips the reader of any enjoyment in actually experiencing the story and interpreting it themselves. Her essay is an interesting read only AFTER reading the story.

TheBookHippie I never read intros until after I‘m done with the book or I skip it entirely 😅. 11mo
KatieDid927 @TheBookHippie A good plan of action. I sometimes read them for non-fiction books, but that‘s pretty different. 11mo
53 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Kristin_Reads
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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📖 3-12-22 || This is powerful and thought-provoking. I loved Zadie Smith‘s intro, but would rather have read it after the story than before. The audio was well-done and, at only two hours, was well worth the listen. 🎧

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Christine
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Echoing the great reviews of this one already here on Litsy: amazing, brilliantly constructed story, and Zadie Smith‘s excellent intro worked best for me when read after reading the story.
Adding: audiobook was fantastic. Bahni Turpin! ❤️ And I loved Smith‘s narration of her intro, too.

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TheBookStacker
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Wow this is amazing! 🤯 Definitely something to read and reread and discuss! Also wow I really love Zadie Smith I guess, I remember reading Swing Time and not enjoying it but I‘m interested in reading her nonfiction now after reading this.

jlhammar Yes, totally agree! I really enjoyed Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith for nonfiction and On Beauty is my favorite of her novels. 12mo
Sophronisba Zadie Smith's intro to this book is just brilliantly done. 12mo
38 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Wow. Powerful short story by Toni Morrison. Zadie Smith‘s introduction (which I highly recommend be read only after u read the story) nails the discomfort that Morrison evokes for the reader. #ARC #Edelweiss

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j9brown
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Impulse-bought this and so glad I did! A complicated and interesting short. You know the two characters are different races but you don't know who's white and who's Black.
The introduction really hits you with it: "When [Toni Morrison] called 'Recitatif' an 'experiment' she meant it. The subject of the experiment is the reader."
And "... most attempts to answer it tend to reveal more about the reader than the character."
⬇️⬇️⬇️

j9brown I kind of wish I'd read the story first and then read Zadie Smith's introduction, and then maybe read the story again. Her intro is a really great read, too. 12mo
behudd Love this story & the discussions it produces! 12mo
61 likes7 stack adds2 comments
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Anya91
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Two women meet as girls in a group home. My theory is that Roberta is white and that Twillah is black. But because the story gives you so many clues it leaves everything up to the reader‘s interpretation. The story itself is very self aware and as it is told through Twillah‘s narration you get her thoughts and points of view regarding situations most of all.
I very much enjoyed this story and rate it a 5 out of 5.

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Anya91
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Sophronisba
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Morrison's story has a trap at its center: we know that Twyla and Roberta are of different races. But Morrison never tells us who's who. You can guess, but to guess is to fall into Morrison's trap.

https://sophronisba.com/2022/02/02/recitatif-the-shifting-sands-of-historical-me...

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ChaoticMissAdventures
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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Thank you Edelweiss for the advanced copy of Recitatif the forward by Zadie Smith was insightful.
This is a short story - only about 20pages (the forward was longer!) But it is one of those shorts that will have you replaying and overthinking all parts of the journey. Morrison was a master. This is her only known short.

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Zoes_Human
Recitatif | Toni Morrison
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A mesmerizing story and a fascinating literary experiment.

I'm currently fascinated that, although the exact same parts of the story influenced how LeVar Burton and I perceived the race of the main character, we made entirely different assumptions.

Christine Ooh - there is a Levar Burton Reads of this?? I must go back and listen! 11mo
22 likes2 comments