Beloved

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Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | August 12, 1987 | Hardcover |

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Toni Morrison--author of Song of Solomon and Tar Baby--is a writer of remarkable powers: her novels, brilliantly acclaimed for their passion, their dazzling language and their lyric and emotional force, combine the unassailable truths of experience and emotion with the vision of legend and imagination.

It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved.

Sethe works at "beating back the past," but it is alive in all of them. It keeps Denver fearful of straying from the house. It fuels the sadness that has settled into Baby Suggs'' "desolated center where the self that was no self made its home." And to Sethe, the past makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in memories that both haunt and soothe her...in the arrival of Paul D ("There was something blessed in his manner. Women saw him and wanted to weep"), one of her fellow slaves on the farm where she had once been kept...in the vivid and painfully cathartic stories she and Paul D tell each other of their years in captivity, of their glimpses of freedom...and, most powerfully, in the apparition of Beloved, whose eyes are expressionless at their deepest point, whose doomed childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who, as daughter, sister and seductress, has now come from the "place over there" to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her.

Sethe''s struggle to keep Beloved from gaining full possession of her present--and to throw off the long, dark legacy of her past--is at the center of this profoundly affecting and startling novel. But its intensity and resonance of feeling, and the boldness of its narrative, lift it beyond its particulars so that it speaks to our experience as an entire nation with a past of both abominable and ennobling circumstance.

In Beloved, Toni Morrison has given us a great American novel.

Toni Morrison was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for Beloved.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.18 in

Published: August 12, 1987

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0394535979

ISBN - 13: 9780394535975

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Beloved

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 1.18 in

Published: August 12, 1987

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0394535979

ISBN - 13: 9780394535975

Read from the Book

I 124 WAS SPITEFUL. Full of a baby''s venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter Denver were its only victims. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, was dead, and the sons, Howard and Buglar, had run away by the time they were thirteen years old--as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered it (that was the signal for Buglar); as soon as two tiny band prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard). Neither boy waited to see more; another kettleful of chickpeas smoking in a heap on the floor; soda crackers crumbled and strewn in a line next to the doorsill. Nor did they wait for one of the relief periods: the weeks, months even, when nothing was disturbed. No. Each one fled at once--the moment the house committed what was for him the one insult not to be borne or witnessed a second time. Within two months, in the dead of winter, leaving their grandmother, Baby Suggs; Sethe, their mother; and their little sister, Denver, all by themselves in the gray and white house on Bluestone Road. It didn''t have a number then, because Cincinnati didn''t stretch that far. In fact, Ohio had been calling itself a state only seventy years when first one brother and then the next stuffed quilt packing into his hat, snatched up his shoes, and crept away from the lively spite the house felt for them. Baby Suggs didn''t even raise her head. From her sickbed she heard them go but that wasn''t
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From the Publisher

Toni Morrison--author of Song of Solomon and Tar Baby--is a writer of remarkable powers: her novels, brilliantly acclaimed for their passion, their dazzling language and their lyric and emotional force, combine the unassailable truths of experience and emotion with the vision of legend and imagination.

It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved.

Sethe works at "beating back the past," but it is alive in all of them. It keeps Denver fearful of straying from the house. It fuels the sadness that has settled into Baby Suggs'' "desolated center where the self that was no self made its home." And to Sethe, the past makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in memories that both haunt and soothe her...in the arrival of Paul D ("There was something blessed in his manner. Women saw him and wanted to weep"), one of her fellow slaves on the farm where she had once been kept...in the vivid and painfully cathartic stories she and Paul D tell each other of their years in captivity, of their glimpses of freedom...and, most powerfully, in the apparition of Beloved, whose eyes are expressionless at their deepest point, whose doomed childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who, as daughter, sister and seductress, has now come from the "place over there" to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her.

Sethe''s struggle to keep Beloved from gaining full possession of her present--and to throw off the long, dark legacy of her past--is at the center of this profoundly affecting and startling novel. But its intensity and resonance of feeling, and the boldness of its narrative, lift it beyond its particulars so that it speaks to our experience as an entire nation with a past of both abominable and ennobling circumstance.

In Beloved, Toni Morrison has given us a great American novel.

Toni Morrison was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for Beloved.

From the Jacket

Toni Morrison--author of Song of Solomon and Tar Baby--is a writer of remarkable powers: her novels, brilliantly acclaimed for their passion, their dazzling language and their lyric and emotional force, combine the unassailable truths of experience and emotion with the vision of legend and imagination.

It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved.

Sethe works at "beating back the past," but it is alive in all of them. It keeps Denver fearful of straying from the house. It fuels the sadness that has settled into Baby Suggs' "desolated center where the self that was no self made its home." And to Sethe, the past makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in memories that both haunt and soothe her...in the arrival of Paul D ("There was something blessed in his manner. Women saw him and wanted to weep"), one of her fellow slaves on the farm where she had once been kept...in the vivid and painfully cathartic stories she and Paul D tell each other of their years in captivity, of their glimpses of freedom...and, most powerfully, in the apparition of Beloved, whose eyes are expressionless at their deepest point, whose doomed childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who, as daughter, sister and seductress, has now come from the "place over there" to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her.

Sethe's struggle to keep Beloved from gaining full possession of her present--and to throw off the long, dark legacy of her past--is at the center of this profoundly affecting and startling novel. But its intensity and resonance of feeling, and the boldness of its narrative, lift it beyond its particulars so that it speaks to our experience as an entire nation with a past of both abominable and ennobling circumstance.

In Beloved, Toni Morrison has given us a great American novel.

Toni Morrison was awarded the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Literature for Beloved.

About the Author

Toni Morrison was born in Ohio and is a graduate of Howard University and Cornell University. She has worked in publishing and taught at various colleges and universities, including Yale, Rutgers, and SUNY Albany as the Schweitzer Chair. She is currently Robert F. Goheen Professor at Princeton. She was the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.

From Our Editors

From one of America's most brilliant and acclaimed writers comes her most important and accomplished achievement yet, the magnificently told, powerfully moving story of remarkable occurrences in the life and spirit of an ex-slave

Editorial Reviews

“A masterwork. . . . Wonderful. . . . I can’t imagine American literature without it.” —John Leonard, Los Angeles Times “A triumph.” —Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Book Review “Toni Morrison’s finest work. . . . [It] sets her apart [and] displays her prodigious talent.” — Chicago Sun-Times “Dazzling. . . . Magical. . . . An extraordinary work.” — The New York Times “A masterpiece. . . . Magnificent. . . . Astounding. . . . Overpowering.” — Newsweek “Brilliant. . . . Resonates from past to present.” — San Francisco Chronicle “A brutally powerful, mesmerizing story. . . . Read it and tremble.” — People “Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist but a major figure in our national literature.” — New York Review of Books “A work of genuine force. . . . Beautifully written.” — The Washington Post “There is something great in Beloved : a play of human voices, consciously exalted, perversely stressed, yet holding true. It gets you.” — The New Yorker “A magnificent heroine . . . a glorious book.” — The Baltimore Sun “Superb. . . . A profound and shattering story that carries the weight of history. . . . Exquisitely told.” — Cosmopolitan “Magical . . . rich, provocative, extremely satisfying.” — Milwaukee Journal “
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