Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Toni Morrison's Recitatif. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Recitatif: Plot Summary
Recitatif: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Recitatif: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Toni Morrison
Historical Context of Recitatif
Other Books Related to Recitatif
- Full Title: Recitatif
- When Published: 1983
- Literary Period: Late 20th century African American fiction
- Genre: Short story
- Setting: Newburgh, NY
- Climax: Twyla and Roberta’s second argument about Maggie, during which Roberta exclaims: “Maybe I am different now, Twyla. But you're not. You're the same little state kid who kicked a poor old black lady when she was down on the ground.”
- Antagonist: Big Bozo
- Point of View: First person, from Twyla’s perspective
Extra Credit for Recitatif
Opera. The story’s title is the French version of the word “recitative,” which refers to the speech-like passages of opera in which the plot is moved forward.
One of a kind. Although Morrison has published 11 novels and multiple works of nonfiction, “Recitatif” is her only short story.