Toni Morrison Collective hosts book talks, giveaways during December

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Toni Morrison’s  M.A. ‘55 Nobel Prize in Literature, Cornell’s Toni Morrison Collective is partnering with Calvary Baptist Church to give away free copies of two of Morrison’s books and hold book talks in various locations during the month of December.

Through a $2,500 Community Celebrations grant to Calvary Baptist from the Tompkins County Tourism program, the project “Ithaca Reads Toni Morrison” will celebrate Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Prize by giving away 100 copies of the author’s posthumously published short story “Recitatif” and 100 copies of the illustrated children’s book “Who’s Got Game: The Ant or the Grasshopper,” co-authored by Morrison and her son Slade.

“The fact that Toni Morrison, during her first year as a master’s student, lodged at a house just a couple of doors up the street from historic Calvary Baptist Church created a perfect context for a collaboration,” said Anne V. Adams, professor emerita of Africana studies and comparative literature and chair of the Toni Morrison Collective. “The project makes Ithacans aware that this Nobel writer lived in Ithaca for two years and also introduces many readers to the children’s books that Morrison co-authored. And, since we’ve chosen to give copies of her short story “Recitatif” — augmented to book form through an Introduction by Zadie Smith — the project presents this work to many who might know her novels, but not this posthumous publication.”

This project is also supported by the Omega Nu Omicron chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Buffalo Street Books, New Roots School, Tompkins County Public Library, and Enfield Community Center. Staff of the Cornell Library, which is the administrative base for the Toni Morrison Collective, provided assistance with graphics for this project.

Book Talks for each book are scheduled for the following dates and locations:


  • Dec. 3, 3 p.m., Tompkins County Public Library
  • Dec. 3, 5 p.m., virtual discussion hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
  • Dec. 10, 3 p.m., Buffalo Street Books
  • Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Enfield Community Center
  • Dec. 16, 2 p.m. Calvary Baptist Church

“Who’s Got Game: The Ant or the Grasshopper?”

  • Dec. 2, Noon, Calvary Baptist Church
  • Dec. 8, 6 p.m., Enfield Community Center
  • Dec. 9, 10:30 a.m., Tompkins County Public Library
  • Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m., Tompkins County Public Library

The Collective will also donate 15 copies of Morrison’s children’s anthology, “A Toni Morrison Treasury,” to afterschool programs in Tompkins County. Members of the Collective and collaborating Cornell students will present the books and read from them with children at the afterschool programs around the time of the author’s birthday, Feb. 18.

For details about the project and information about obtaining free copies of the books, visit or email

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		children coloring at a table