Friday, May 06, 2022

The labor of preparing turkeys and quail in James Baldwin and Toni Morrison

In James Baldwin's "Go Tell It on the Mountain" (1953), John Grimes's Aunt Florence recalls how her husband Frank would buy a whole turkey when shopping: "She would sit in the kitchen, cold with rage and staring at the turkey, which, since Frank always bought them unplucked and with the head on, would cost her hours of exasperating, bloody labor." The same figure of a husband providing whole birds for meals without considering the labor of preparation appears in Toni Morrison's "Paradise" (1998) when Soane Morgan anticipates her husband returning from hunting with "a sackful" of quail: "Like he's giving me a present. Like you were already plucked, cleaned and cooked." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 6 May 2022)

No comments: