Skip to content

To my knowledge, I've never read anything by Toni Morrison. I've never even wanted to read anything by her. Not out of animosity. She simply rarely crossed my mental radar screen, except when there was a reference to Oprah, and that was enough to shoot it off my radar screen.

But then I saw this nifty review-essay about a book of her rejection letters. I deeply respect anyone who does anything well, especially if it's something that most people consider beneath them. Here, a woman who was (I assume) a first-rate stylist with a lot of worthy literary projects of her own, took enormous efforts to compose thoughtful rejection letters to budding authors while she was an editor at Random House.

And now someone took the time to anthologize the rejection letters.

Wendell Berry writes occasionally about the little art of making something out of nothing. It's an activity I've long admired. If someone takes refuse, cleans it up, and organizes it into something beautiful in a dilapidated area of their backyard, I appreciate it a lot more than someone who pays a landscape designer.

I don't know why. I plan on exploring it at some point, but for now, I'll simply appreciate things like this, a work of art, produced from mini works of art that were built from the refuse of literary ambition.

There Is No Point in My Being Other Than Honest with You: On Toni Morrison’s Rejection Letters | Los Angeles Review of Books
Melina Moe writes about the rejection letters Toni Morrison sent as an editor at Random House.…