Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Today was exciting! A project that's been in the works for a while - a Google Hangout with Toni Morrison - not only went smoothly, but she answered a question I had submitted. SHE KNOWS MY NAME. Well, she heard it, anyway.

I helped organize the event, along with Toni Morrison's publisher, others on the Books team, and the Black Googler Network. It was a capstone event for Google's Black History Month activities, and I'm so very glad it came together. The event happened in New York, so I didn't get to be there, but I loved being part of the planning. Toni did an internal event for Googlers then sat down for the Hangout, where she answered questions from fans live and also took questions posted on Google+. I submitted mine there with the aim of getting others to post questions as well. I didn't expect my question would actually be read aloud.

I was giving a training during the live event, alas, but I watched the recording (you can see it on YouTube here, and I'm embedding it below), and dang, is that woman amazing. I'm a longtime Toni Morisson fan, and while I don't follow her as closely as I did in high school - when I completed a year-long project on her works, wrote her letters, and kept an eye out for her in Princeton like a lazy stalker - she has a very special place in my literary heart, which also happens to be my real actual heart.

If you're looking for my question, it comes at about the 15 minute mark. I asked what she would cite as the major theme or themes in her work. It took her a little while to come up with the answer - and high school me would have loved to jump in with all the themes that I pulled out and obsessed over - but she did answer, and mentioned Dostoevsky, and made me very happy. 
The author seemed really happy with the event at the time, and I heard from her publisher afterward that Toni absolutely loved it. Yay for technology, yay for a job that lets me do these kinds of things, and yay for Toni Morrison!

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