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It is the mid-1800s. At Sweet Home in Kentuckhy, an era is ending as slavery comes under attack from the abolitionists. The worlds of Halle and Paul D. are to be destroyed in a cataclysm of torment and agony. The world of Sethe, however, is to turn from one of love to one of violence and death - the death of Sethe's baby daughter Beloved, whose name is the single word on the tombstone, who died at her mother's hands, and who will return to claim retribution.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099273936
ISBN-10: 0099273934
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Mar-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » This is Morrison's masterwork for which she was awarded the Pulitzer and, subsequently, the Nobel Prize. It is an unflinchingly tough and heart-wrenching novel, examining the ghosts of slavery in the lives of black American women. Sethe has killed her own daughter, Beloved, with a saw rather than return her to the plantations. Some years later, in the summer of 1873, a troubled and oddly familiar young woman appears in Sethe's life. Has the past caught up with her at last? Beloved is a novel of great lyrical beauty and emotional intensity. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Morrison's truly majestic fifth novel - strong and intricate in craft; devastating in impact. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, this is the story of how former slaves, psychically crippled by years of outrage to their bodies and their humanity, attempt to "beat hack the past," while the ghosts and wounds of that past ravage the present. The Ohio house where Sethe and her second daughter, ten-year-old Denver, live in 1873 is "spiteful. Full of a [dead] baby's venom." Sethe's mother-in-law, a good woman who preached freedom to slave minds, has died grieving. It was she who nursed Sethe, the runaway - near death with a newborn - and gave her a brief spell of contentment when Sethe was reunited with her two boys and first baby daughter. But the boys have by now run off, scared, and the murdered first daughter "has palsied the house" with rage. Then to the possessed house comes Paul D., one of the "Pauls" who, along with Sethe, had been a slave on the "Sweet Home" plantation under two owners - one "enlightened," one vicious. (But was there much difference between them?) Sethe will honor Paul D.'s humiliated manhood; Paul D. will banish Sethe's ghost, and hear her stories from the past. But the one story she does not tell him will later drive him away - as it drove away her boys, and as it drove away the neighbors. Before he leaves, Paul D. will be baffled and anxious about Sethe's devotion to the strange, scattered and beautiful lost girl, "Beloved." Then, isolated and alone together for years, the three women will cling to one another as mother, daughter, and sister - found at last and redeemed. Finally, the ex-slave community, rebuilding on ashes, will intervene, and Beloved's tortured vision of a mother's love - refracted through a short nightmare life - will end with her death. Morrison traces the shifting shapes of suffering and mythic accommodations, through the shell of psychosis to the core of a victim's dark violence, with a lyrical insistence and a clear sense of the time when a beleaguered peoples' "only grace. . .was the grace they could imagine." (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931) is an American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. She was also commissioned to write the libretto for a new opera, Margaret Garner, first performed in 2005. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved and the Nobel Prize in 1993. On May 29, 2012, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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