Students at West Point attending a reading by Toni Morrison on Friday. She read from her novel “Home,” which focuses on a Korean War veteran. (Kirsten Luce for The New York Times)
WEST POINT, N.Y. — As thousands of hungry West Point cadets streamed into the mess hall for their 20-minute lunch break here on Friday, they paused from the rush to the tables to give a rousing group cheer to a guest who has received hundreds of accolades, but perhaps none this thunderous.
“I can’t believe this — it’s like a movie,” said Toni Morrison, who sat at one of the 420 wooden tables in the flag-bedecked Washington Hall, a majestic Romanesque structure at the United States Military Academy.
Seated with members of the African-American Arts Forum at West Point, Ms. Morrison ate her Army-issue ravioli and prepared to read from her most recent novel, “Home,” to the freshman cadets, who studied the book in English class this semester.
The novel is the story of Frank Money, a black Georgia native and Korean War veteran struggling to reintegrate into civilian life in a segregated America, while struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.