Toni Morrison's A Mercy, a Preview
Synopsis: A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and of a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment. Acts of mercy may have unforeseen consequences.
Don't be afraid. My telling can't hurt you in spite of what I have done and I promise to lie quietly in the dark—weeping perhaps or occasionally seeing the blood once more—but I will never again unfold my limbs to rise up and bare teeth. I explain. You can think what I tell you a confession, if you like, but one full of curiosities familiar only in dreams and during those moments when a dog's profile plays in the steam of a kettle. Click here for full USA Today's full excerpt
Awards: Man Booker Shortlist
The shortlisted titles (and their U.S. publishers) for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, which "promotes the finest in fiction," are:
- The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Free Press, $24, 9781416562597/1416562591)
- The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry (Viking, $24.95, 9780670019403/0670019402)
- Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (FSG, $26, 9780374174224/0374174229)
- The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant (Virago Press, $21.46, 9781844085415/1844085414)
- The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher (Knopf, $27.95, 9781400044481/1400044480)
- A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (Spiegel & Grau, $24.95, 9780385521727/0385521723, and a new paperback edition, $14.95, 9780385521734/0385521731
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