From Her Mouth To Their Ears: Toni Morrison Talks Creativity With Google

March 4, 2013  |  

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

When award-winning novelist Toni Morrison talks Google listens. The author of such classics as Beloved, The  Bluest Eye, and Song of Solomon, recently spoke to the employees of Google, sharing her thoughts on creativity.

During the talk at Google´s Manhattan office, Morrison spoke of vision for how she would turn the search engine leader into a literary character, reports the Huffington Post.

“It’s like a big, metal, claw-y machine in ‘Transformers,'” she said, to much laughter. “When they’re threatened, they turn into a little radio, they turn into a little car. And then after you pass them by they come up again.

“They can be anything and everything.”

Following her talk, Morrison took questions online, part of Google’s “Hangout” series.

Morrison isn’t the first creative to speak at Google. Prior to the 82-year-old Nobel Laureate’s appearance, since 2005 such people as Stephen Colbert and Lady Gaga have visited Google Inc. in New York and the home offices in Mountain View, Calif. Morrison, battling the flu and sniffling through much of the afternoon, was promoting the paperback edition of her novel “Home,” published last year. But she also chatted about technology, teaching and creativity.

According to HuffPo, Morrison spoke candidly about many surprising subjects. “Most of the attendees were young enough to be her grandchildren, and she clearly enjoyed startling them with candid talk about what she likes in literature (please don’t bore her with stories about dating) and about how to use sex in fiction. The first lesson: Forget ‘boobs and butts,’” writes the news site. She continued discuss how she introduced sex in Beloved and about here struggles with her new novel.

Morrison also spoke about how tech has affected her. Morrison it seems was an early endorser of Amazon.com’s Kindle reading device. And she said she’s not a Luddite and does keep up with the Internet. In fact, she prefers the nonfiction she reads on blogs to fiction.  “It shortens research enormously, months of time you would normally spend in libraries, just trying to read books,” she said of the Internet.

She said she even turned to the Internet to help her with her most recent novel, set in the 1950s.

“I was looking for documentation for who could not rent or buy property in Seattle,” she told the Google staff. “And I knew black people couldn’t, but I didn’t have any real examples. But via Google I went through stuff and found these lease arrangements.”

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
blog comments powered by Disqus