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A dead child, a runaway slave, a terrible secret--these are the central concerns of Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning Beloved. Morrison, a Nobel laureate, has written many fine novels, including Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, and Paradise--but Beloved is arguably her best. To modern readers, antebellum slavery is a subject so familiar that it is almost impossible to render its horrors in a way that seems neither clichéd nor melodramatic. Rapes, beatings, murders, and mutilations are recounted here, but they belong to characters so precisely drawn that the tragedy remains individual, terrifying to us because it is terrifying to the sufferer. And Morrison is master of the telling detail: in the bit, for example, a punishing piece of headgear used to discipline recalcitrant slaves, she manages to encapsulate all of slavery's many cruelties into one apt symbol--a device that deprives its wearer of speech. "Days after it was taken out, goose fat was rubbed on the corners of the mouth but nothing to soothe the tongue or take the wildness out of the eye." Most importantly, the language here, while often lyrical, is never overheated. Even as she recalls the cruelties visited upon her while a slave, Sethe is evocative without being overemotional: "Add my husband to it, watching, above me in the loft--hiding close by--the one place he thought no one would look for him, looking down on what I couldn't look at at all. And not stopping them--looking and letting it happen.... And if he was that broken then, then he is also and certainly dead now." Even the supernatural is treated as an ordinary fact of life: "Not a house in the country ain't packed to its rafters with some dead Negro's grief. We lucky this ghost is a baby," comments Sethe's mother-in-law.
Beloved is a dense, complex novel that yields up its secrets one by one. As Morrison takes us deeper into Sethe's history and her memories, the horrifying circumstances of her baby's death start to make terrible sense. And as past meets present in the shape of a mysterious young woman about the same age as Sethe's daughter would have been, the narrative builds inexorably to its powerful, painful conclusion. Beloved may well be the defining novel of slavery in America, the one that all others will be measured by. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Beloved is a moving story about slavery, freedom, spirits, guilt, and love.
Toni Morrison's unique style of writing and her unique stories will keep her novels, such as Beloved, in the hands of readers for many years to come.
For the most part, this book was extremely boring and at times hard to understand.
I read this when it came out in the 1980s, but I was a young woman and didn't reallly "get" a lot of it. I enjoyed re-reading it along with my high school student.Published 5 days ago by Sharon Richardson
I really did not like this book. I do not understand why the big attraction for "Beloved". It was extremely hard to follow and convoluted and frankly I really never cared... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Linda
The novel, Beloved, by Toni Morrison is not at all what I was expecting it to be. I was expecting an action packed tale about an escaped slave; it was instead a slow-moving story... Read morePublished 9 days ago by kk
I never got around to reading this book until now and didn't even really know what it was about. Then it showed up on a friends "best of" list and I decided to check it... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Elizabeth
This is a complex story that needed to be captured for posterity. It's easy to say you're "against" slavery but to see how deep, deep, deeply it was engrained into our... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Debra K. Walker
This is a very interesting novel from the point of view of slaves and how slavery REALLY was and its effects on the slaves. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Selena#1
Amazing story! Toni Morrissson has written a book that will keep you glued to the pages waiting to see what will be revealed next.Published 28 days ago by Sherry Simmerman