In his book, Why Literature Matters, Glenn Arbery writes that “literature matters because nothing can better approach the form...of life in its felt reality, as it is most deeply experienced, with intelligence that increases in power the more it explores the most unbearable dimensions of joy and suffering.”
It is to gain a deeper sense of the joy and suffering of human life as lived through the African American experience that the Portsmouth Institute invited teachers from Catholic schools across the country to attend a virtual seminar series on Beloved, Toni Morrison’s masterpiece of American literature. Over the course of four seminars, expert teacher Ms. Onyema Nweze will lead the class through a close reading of the book, hitting on both timeless and contemporary questions of human life.
About Beloved: In 1988, Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, a novel which in 2006 was selected as “the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years. With remarkable speed, Beloved, less than 20 years after its publication, became a staple of the college literary curriculum, which is to say a classic,” according to critic A.O. Scott. Today, over 30 years later, Beloved continues to be read and struggled with, not only by traditional students but also by serious readers of diverse backgrounds and experience. Given our history, it is a difficult book to confront but more difficult to understand American culture without it.