Womens Magazine

August 12, 2019: Groundbreaking Writers Toni Morrison and Sara Paretsky

We remember the great Toni Morrison through archival interviews with her, clips from the film, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (still showing in Albany and Marin), and reflections by writers Aya de Leon, Carolina de Robertis and Nayomi Munaweera, as well as a discussion between Women’s Magazine’s Jovelyn Richards and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield Sanders.

Then we go to another iconic writer in a very different genre. Sara Paretsky, author of the best-selling V.I. Warshawski detective novels, joins us for a discussion about sexism in publishing, crime fiction in the service of social justice, and the founding of the organization Sisters in Crime.

Ed’s note: On learning that she would be included in a show featuring Toni Morrison, Sara Paretsky said she was overwhelmed. We asked for a comment on Morrison’s influence, and she replied: “Morrison’s extraordinary genius as a writer of fiction and user of language is something I admire but can’t hope to emulate. What I do hope to emulate is her courage, her forthrightness, in speech and writing. One thing that has stuck with me all week is a comment by Rachel Ghansah on Morrison’s legacy in her life: ‘We need to speak with clarity and not let anyone sanitize our voices and our thoughts, but also have the freedom to say this space right here is mine. And this writing is where I’m free, and no one can tell me what to be.'”

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