We are pleased to announce the availability of Desdemona by Toni Morrison, with lyrics by Rokia Traoré, published by Oberon Books in London. This re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Othello includes a foreword by Peter Sellars, who directed the piece at Barbican Concert Hall in London in July.
“Desdemona is a remarkable, challenging and bravely original work.” ― Guardian
The story of Desdemona from Shakespeare’s Othello is re-imagined by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison, Malian singer and songwriter Rokia Traoré and acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars.
Morrison’s response to Sellars’s 2009 production of Othello is an intimate dialogue of words and music between Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary. Morrison gives voice and depth to the female characters, letting them speak and sing in the fullness of their hearts.
Desdemona is an extraordinary narrative of words, music and song about Shakespeare’s doomed heroine, who speaks from the grave about the traumas of race, class, gender, war — and the transformative power of love. Toni Morrison transports one of the most iconic, central and disturbing treatments of race in Western culture into the new realities and potential outcomes facing a rising generation of the 21st century. Order your copy today!
“A rare and delicate show that shines a new light on Shakespeare’s tragedy.” ― La Croix
Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. She is the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved (made into a major film), Paradise and, most recently, Home. She has also received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction. In addition to Desdemona, her theatrical work includes writing the text for Margaret Garner (music composed by Richard Danielpour) and Dreaming Emmett, an unpublished play directed by Gilbert Moses and performed at the Marketplace Capitol Repertory Theater of Albany. Ms. Morrison has written lyrics for Kathleen Battle (commissioned by Carnegie Hall), Sylvia McNair, Jessye Norman and Andre Previn. Ms. Morrison founded the Princeton Atelier which for fifteen years has brought actors, composers, writers and artists of all genres together to work with students on the artists’ own projects. Several of her novels including The Bluest Eye have been adapted for the stage.
Rokia Traoré is an award-winning Malian singer songwriter and guitarist. Her first albums, Mouneïssa, Wanita and Bowmboï are now classics. Her latest album, Tchamantché, took the French Victoires de la musique award for the best World Music album of 2009.