Medal of Freedom
Here is the story of Frank Money, an angry veteran trying to readjust to life in the United States after fighting in the Korean War. Frank, though, as an African-American, is moving from the equality of a desegregated army into the harsh, segregated world of 50's America. He's once more a second class citizen and he's suffering from his experiences in Korea. And Frank needs to get across the country. He needs to go home to help his sister--the only family he has--escape from a bad relationship. As Frank travels from Seattle to Georgia, he encounters both kindness and hostility, and he experiences the rages of PTSD.
What sets Home apart from other Toni Morrison novels is that it's contemporary. It's set in the 20th Century and it addresses issues at the forefront of modern American society. Race relations are explored even as the radical right rails against our black President. The plight of traumatized soldiers transcends the decades from that war to the ones fought in Afghanistan and Iraq as soldiers come home. And women; women still fight for equality in relationships and in society. This is an important book, and it's a beautifully crafted one. If I had to place a bet on the front runner for next year's Pulitzer Prize (assuming one is awarded...sigh), my money's on TMo.