“Beloved,” “Song of Solomon,” and “Sula,” were her most acclaimed books, each viewed as groundbreaking works of literature on the black experience. But one of the late Toni Morrison’s lesser-known works was “Tar Baby,” the 1981 novel set, in part, on the fictional Caribbean island of Isle des Chevaliers.
In the book, Ms. Morrison portrays a love affair between characters Jadine and Son, two African-Americans who come from very different worlds. Jadine is a beautiful fashion model brought into a life of wealth and privilege by the Streets, a family of rich islanders. Son is a poor and strong-minded man who washes up at the Streets’ estate on Isle des Chevaliers.
It was not a best-seller, but received modest reviews as a must-read for those interested in Ms. Morrison’s portrayal of Caribbean culture.
Ms. Morrison, the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, author of 11 books, Pulitzer Prize winner, and professor, passed away this week at 88-years-old. She died peacefully, surrounded by family, according to her publisher.