The Identifying Fictions of Toni Morrison: Modernist Authenticity and Postmodern Blackness

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Although all published biographical information on Toni Morrison agrees that her birth name was Chloe Anthony Wofford, John Duvall's book challenges this claim. Using new biographical information, he explores the issue of names and naming in Morrison's fiction and repeatedly finds surprising traces of the Nobel Prize-winning author's struggle to construct a useable identity as an African American woman novelist. Whatever the exact circumstances surrounding her decision to become Toni, one thing becomes clear: the question of identity was not a given for Morrison.