Books That Inspire 2009

Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon is the story of Macon “Milkman” Dead and his family, sweeping from the Reconstruction era through the 1960s. Milkman, feeling imprisoned by the expectations of family and friends in urban Michigan, makes a quest for freedom that takes him to the mountains of Virginia. In learning the stories of his ancestors there, he begins to think beyond himself and feel compassion for the people he was restless to escape. Through Milkman and the many compelling characters he encounters, Toni Morrison explores the importance of roots, family, personal worth, and identity. Her writing is lyrical yet deliberate, and the story is enriched by mysticism and folklore. Song of Solomon is an experience that stays with the reader long past the final page.

Erin M. Sloan
Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center