A Mercy Background

A Mercy Background

A Mercy is a non-fiction novel written by American author Toni Morrison. Morrison is an author, a teacher, and a professor in the Princeton University. She won numerous prizes, including the Nobel for literature, and is most known for her story Beloved. A Mercy is her ninth novel and is centralized around the dark sides of slavery.

The novel talks about a young girl called Florens whose mother was a slave to a man in debt. The man pays his debt to another named Jacob Vaark, who agrees to take a slave instead of money. It should be noted that the novel is set in America in the late 1600s, which means that slavery and racism were prominent. Florens' mother tells her master to take Florens as the cost for the debt but Florens never gets to know that her mother was trying to save her. The country is then covered by small pox, but Florens is literate enough to understand its dangers and go for a journey to flee the disease and find herbal medicine. The novel basically shows how slaves are treated and investigates the racism and discrimination found in America at that time.

A Mercy was loved by many people and it was rated as one of the best novels of 2008, the year it was published. David Gates wrote in his New York Times book review: "it’s her deepest excavation into America’s history, to a time when the South had just passed laws that “separated and protected all whites from all others forever,” and the North had begun persecuting people accused of witchcraft." Novelist Hilary Mantel from the Guardian says: "What she emphasises here is a sort of grim equality based on suffering; slaves are white as well as black, women of all races are at the mercy of men. In this barren universe you do not reap what you sow, but rather what some stranger has sown, unthinkingly." It earned a 3.6 out of a 5-star rating on Goodreads.

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