The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio (Morrison's hometown), and tells the story of a young African-American girl named Pecola who grew up following the Great Depression. Set in 1941, the story tells that she is consistently regarded as "ugly" due to her mannerisms and dark skin. As a result, she develops an inferiority complex, which fuels her desire for the blue eyes she equates with "whiteness".
The novel is told from Claudia MacTeer's point of view. She is the daughter of Pecola's foster parents at different stages in her life. In addition, there is an omniscient third-person narrative that includes inset narratives in the first person. The book's controversial topics of racism, incest, and child molestation have led to numerous attempts to ban the novel from schools and libraries.
Morrison was an African-American novelist, a Pulitzer, and Nobel Prize winner whose works are praised for addressing the harsh consequences of racism in the United States.