The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, was the first novel written by author Toni Morrison. 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.
The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio (Morrison's own home town), and tells the story of a young African-American lady named Pecola who grows up during the years following the Great Depression. Set in 1941, the story tells that due to her mannerisms and dark skin, she is consistently regarded as "ugly". As a result, she develops an inferiority complex, which fuels her desire for the blue eyes she equates with "whiteness".
The point of view of the novel switches between various perspectives of Claudia MacTeer, the daughter of Pecola's foster parents, at different stages in her life. In addition, there is an omniscient third-person narrative which includes inset narratives in the first person.
Its controversial topics of racism, incest, and child molestation have led to numerous attempts to ban the novel from schools and libraries.