By Toni Morrison
I read this book, about a young African-American man coming to terms with his family history, in a college English class. It's suffused with magic—people flying, women without belly buttons—that should be ridiculous but instead somehow makes perfect sense. Morrison is such a sensual writer, and she uses strong images that resonate with myth. Twenty years later, I can still picture the first scene—of a man with blue silk wings who jumps off a building, and a pregnant woman who drops red velvet rose petals onto the snow as she watches him, and another woman in the crowd who sings a song that in the end is the key to the story.