It’s not always you get to say nice things about your friends for all the world to hear. Then again, it isn’t everyone whose friends include one of the most acclaimed novelists of the past half-century, or one who’s the subject of a documentary film being released theatrically.
But when “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” opens at The Charles on July 12, one of the people being interviewed will be McDaniel University alumnus David Carrasco, a professor of Latin American studies at Harvard University whose friendship with the author of “Beloved” goes back some 30 years.
“We’ve taught together, we’ve worked together,” says Carrasco, who met the Nobel Prize-winning author at Princeton University. He was one of 12 friends Morrison suggested filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders should interview for his documentary. “We’ve kept in touch. I see her often.”
Carrasco, McDaniel class of ’67 (back when it was still Western Maryland College), is unstinting in his praise of Morrison. Once, he notes, he took her with him to Mexico, where he arranged a meeting with fellow Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez — Carrasco speaks with understandable pride of setting up “this meeting between the two probably greatest writers of the 20th, 21st centuries.”
As for the documentary, he’s clearly in good company when it comes to praising Morrison for her life and work. Others interviewed include Angela Davis, Russell Banks, Walter Mosley and Oprah Winfrey, who starred in the 1998 screen adaptation of “Beloved.”