Toni Morrison, born Chloe A Wofford, was a towering figure in the world of literature when she entered A.J. Verdelle’s life. Their literary friendship was a young writer’s dream—simultaneously exhilarating, intimidating, fulfilling, and challenging.
... vivid ... Verdelle’s stunningly precise and poetic language is a joy to savor. Morrison fans will delight in revisiting her works through Verdelle’s eyes and meeting the enigmatic writer in an intimate way.
Verdelle captures Morrison’s appreciation for Black female labor in a loving tribute to baking yeast rolls—a lengthy, intricate ritual that nourishes and connects generations and is a tangible embodiment of Black family strength. Verdelle has created a remarkable literary portrait and memoir.
Verdelle writes forcefully about the individual novels and about Morrison's achievement as a whole ... The book is too long in the way of a phone conversation where the other person keeps thinking of one more thing they have to tell you, but luckily enough, that turns out to be interesting, as well. Verdelle is not afraid to grind an ax if necessary, and the one involving the failure of her second novel to see print is sharp indeed. Maybe something can be done about that ... Passionate, personal, insightful, testy, and unique.