Home (Morrison Novel)

Home (Morrison Novel) Study Guide

Home is American novelist Toni Morrison's 10th novel, published by Alfred Knopf in 2012. Morrison has been forthcoming about the various influences on the germination and the writing of the novel. She wanted to critique the faddish affection for the 1950s, commenting, “I was trying to take the scab off the 50s, the general idea of it as very comfortable, happy, nostalgic. Mad Men. Oh, please. There was a horrible war you didn't call a war where 58,000 people died. There was McCarthy." She also explained, “A reason for Home is that I got very interested in the idea of when a man's relationship with a woman is pure—unsullied, not fraught—It could be masculine and protective without the baggage of sexuality. So the sort of Hansel and Gretel aspect really fascinated me."

Morrison purposefully does not identify protagonist Frank Money as Black, but instead allows the textual evidence to make that clear. She told the New Yorker, “When I was writing ‘Home,’ I had the ‘Green Book,’ the one that tells black people where they can spend the night. And where they can eat. And I got a copy of it, as a matter of fact, from the library at Princeton, so that I could have him go there and have porters, or preachers, or friends that he had met in a restaurant, tell him where he could sleep or take him in. But I never identified him originally; I gave in, finally, but I never identified him, when I first wrote ‘Home,’ as a black man...I just wanted the reader to just—if he couldn’t go to this fountain, the reader would know. If he couldn’t go to the bathroom, he had to go in the bushes, the reader would know. But I never used the word.”

Morrison dedicated the novel to her son Slade, who died eighteen months before the book’s publication.

The novel received mostly positive reviews, though not as laudatory as those of many of her other novels.