BelovedBook - 1987
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.
Featured Blogs and Events
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. —George R.R. Martin I’m going to report this fact, though it hurts me to do so: in a recent Pew study, 24% of US adults said they had not read a book in the last year. (Okay, let’s look at the bright side that means 76% of us have read a book in the past year!) However, not making or having time for reading… (more)
Most years, I don't make much fuss about my birthday. Not infrequently, I'll forget it's coming and only remember when thoughtful friends and family start asking me about presents. But not this year! This year, I decided to treat myself to a birthday extravaganza. And when I realized I'd have a blog post due around the time my birthday hits, I was full of ideas to tie the wondrous fact of… (more)
View All Staff Blog Posts »
From Library Staff
LPL_ShirleyB Mar 02, 2020
eBook & eAudiobook available. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize, A powerful ghost story with real historical roots. First published in 1987
Killed. Me. Dead. I honestly cried off and on for week after reading this book in college. I don't know if I could manage it again, or if maybe I'd be less tender knowing what was coming. Such a great and important book, but it really rips your heart out.
This book eviscerated me, left me sobbing for a week and I still think about certain scenes 25 years later. If you want a book to change you and haunt you, this is the one.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
Outside, snow solidified itself into graceful forms. The peace of winter stars seemed permanent.
Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.
"124 was spiteful."
AgeAdd Age Suitability
SummaryAdd a Summary
There are no summaries for this title yet.