Format:
Book
Author:
Title:
Edition:
First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York, New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1987.
©1987
Description:
275 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
After Paul D. finds his old slave friend Sethe in Ohio and moves in with her and her daughter Denver, a strange girl comes along by the name of "Beloved." Sethe and Denver take her in and then strange things begin to happen. Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this profoundly affecting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath is Toni Morrison's greatest novel, a dazzling achievement, and the most spellbinding reading experience of the decade. A brutally powerful, mesmerizing story- read it and tremble. At the center of Toni Morrison's fifth novel, which earned her the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is an almost unspeakable act of horror and heroism: a woman brutally kills her infant daughter rather than allow her to be enslaved. The woman is Sethe, and the novel traces her journey from slavery to freedom during and immediately following the Civil War. Woven into this circular, mesmerizing narrative are the horrible truths of Sethe's past: the incredible cruelties she endured as a slave, and the hardships she suffered in her journey north to freedom. Just as Sethe finds the past too painful to remember, and the future just "a matter of keeping the past at bay," her story is almost too painful to read. Yet Morrison manages to imbue the wreckage of her characters' lives with compassion, humanity, and humor. Part ghost story, part history lesson, part folk tale, Beloved finds beauty in the unbearable, and lets us all see the enduring promise of hope that lies in anyones future.
Subjects:
Genre:
Notes:
Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1988.
Contents:
Introduction / Harold Bloom -- Haunted by Their Nightmares / Margaret Atwood -- Toni Morrison's Beloved / Roger Sale -- A Different Remembering: Memory, History and Meaning in Toni Morrison's Beloved / Marilyn Sanders Mobley -- Beloved and the New Apocalypse / Susan Bowers -- Fleshly Ghosts and Ghostly Flesh: The Word and the Body in Beloved / David Lawrence -- Beloved: A Womanist Neo-Slave Narrative; or Multivocal Remembrances of Things Past / Bernard W. Bell -- Maternal Bonds as Devourers of Women's Individuation in Toni Morrison's Beloved / Stephanie A. Demetrakopoulos -- The Ghosts of Slavery: Historical Recovery in Toni Morrison's Beloved / Linda Krumholz -- Unspeakable Things Unspoken: Ghosts and Memories in Beloved / Elizabeth Fox-Genovese -- Daughters Signifyin(g) History: The Example of Toni Morrison's Beloved / Ashraf H.A. Rushdy -- Beloved: Toni Morrison's Post-Apocalyptic Novel / Josef Pesch -- Toni Morrison's Beloved: History, "Rememory," and a "Clamor for a Kiss" / Caroline Rody -- Ghosts of Liberalism: Morrison's Beloved and the Moynihan Report / James Berger -- Figurations of Rape and the Supernatural in Beloved / Pamela E. Barnett.
Web Site:
LCCN:
86046157
ISBN:
0394535979
9780394535975
Other Number:
15284982
Copies in all libraries:
8
Current Holds:
1
# Local items:
1
Control Number:
987116
Call Number:
813/.54
# Local items in:
1
# System items in:
3
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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Mixed with the lyric beauty of the writing, the fury in Morrison's (Song of Solomonp latest book is almost palpable. Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this haunting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath traces the life of a young woman, Sethe, who has kept a terrible memory at bay only by shutting down part of her mind. Juxtaposed with searing descriptions of brutality, gradually revealed in flashbacks, are equally harrowing scenes in which fantasy takes flesh, a device Morrison handles with consummate skill. The narrative concerns Sethe's former life as a slave on Sweet Home Farm, her escape with her children to what seems a safe haven and the tragic events that ensue. The death of Sethe's infant daughter Beloved is the incident on which the plot hinges, and it is obvious to the reader that the sensuous young woman who mysteriously appears one day is Beloved's spirit, come back to claim Sethe's love. Sethe's surviving daughter, Denver, immediately grasps the significance of Beloved's return and so does Paul Dno period after D, another escapee from Sweet Home; but Sethe herself resists comprehension, and, as a result, a certain loss of tension affects the latter part of the narrative. But this is a small flaw in a novel full of insights, both piercing and tender, with distinctive, memorable characters, flowing prose that conveys speech patterns with musical intensity and a brilliantly conceived story. As a record of white brutality mitigated by rare acts of decency and compassion, and as a testament to the courageous lives of a tormented people, this novel is a milestone in the chronicling of the black experience in America. It is Morrison writing at the height of her considerable powers, and it should not be missed. BOMC main selection. (September 16) Copyright 1987 Cahners Business Information.

Librarian's View
Book
1987

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