Book - 1998
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Artwork copyright Touchstone Pictures 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 anyone's future.
Publisher: Plume, 1998
ISBN: 9780452280625
Branch Call Number: MOR
Characteristics: 275 p


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RogerDeBlanck Jan 31, 2018

Upon its publication in 1987, Beloved was deemed a masterpiece, and it went on to win the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Through the character of Sethe, Morrison investigates the tragic, true-life events surrounding an ex-slave named Margaret Garner. The institution of slavery becomes magnified through a heinous act of violence that haunts Sethe throughout her life. The novel examines Sethe’s psychological wounds as she struggles to find strength to counteract the unthinkable memories of her past. With prose that is lean, clear, and beautiful, Morrison joins the past with the present through Sethe’s remembrances. Morrison focuses on the mental anguish of slavery amid the physical brutalities, and she presents a wrenching exploration of slavery’s legacy in America. Beloved is one of the monumental achievements of literature in the 20th century and one of the central reasons Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. It is my favorite novel, and it is a reading experience I cherish as more valuable and emotional than any other book.

Apr 26, 2017

Another lynching story more or less copied in the Faulkner modernist obscurant style. Liberals like Faulkner and John Grisham give their borg lynching stories which please that mindset: Sycamore Row from Grisham and Dry September from Faulkner. Like obama Morrison was given the Pulitzer and Nobel prize for being black. I selected Beloved since it is supposedly her best work; the hoi-poloi love to commend it thinking it makes them appear intellectual and chic. I thought it would be crap, but it isn't; it harbors silly negro mysticism, but that is pretty much a characteristic of the beast. I had to make myself read the first thirty pages, then I got into it and it was interesting--not beautiful like Penn Warren's All The King's Men nor half as good a story as To Kill A Mockingbird: my favorite, and my selection for most perfectly written novel.

Who was this offensive to: a loser liberal jackass; or a loser mindless african?

The plotline was very deep, but the characters look 3-dimensional. To me, I am so speechless to recommend long enough. Overall, a masterpiece worth reading behind history!

Jan 09, 2017

Morrison is a powerful and lyrical writer of unspeakable things taking place at an inhuman time in our country. Beloved is the murdered baby, the grandmother on the slave ship, the voice of all those lost in the Middle Passage. It is not an easy read.

Jun 13, 2016

A powerful book that seems to have been a lived experience almost.

Nov 26, 2015

Selected for the Logan Central Tuesday Book Club in 2016. For a full list of 2016 selections, see the Logan Central Tuesday Book Club list.

Jul 22, 2015

This book is generally viewed as a great work of literary fiction, but I have difficulty finding any reasons why. I understand it was intentionally written in a confusing manner to make the reader feel instantly wrapped up in the plot, but I was unimpressed by a complete lack of clarity. It was a poor attempt at combining the courageous perseverance of former slaves and a pitiful horror-based ghost story. Hopping between the timelines was far from seamless. One chapter lacked even a single comprehensive sentence. I finished the book feeling no empathy for the characters. I found the overarching concept the book was supposedly about intriguing, but the story itself was bland, the characters both uninteresting and unlikable, the plot impossible to follow, and the book poorly written overall.

May 12, 2015

One of the ten best American novels. Morrison at her very best.

Jul 05, 2014

If you like Beloved, you read the The Bluest Eyes!

voisjoe1 Jun 17, 2014

This was a complex novel, as it bridges the years when slave-holding was legal in America to the decade after the outlawing of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment. We meet slaves, slave-holders, people helping slaves cross the Ohio River into free-state Ohio, bounty hunters pursuing slaves in free-state Ohio, and also former slaves, years after the granting of their freedom. The novel bounces back-and-forth across the border and also across time, so the reader has the task of trying to keep track of why the author sequences the events as she does. But this is her masterpiece and she is a Nobel Prize winner and she is at the top of her game in this work. Readers still argue today, was infanticide the best option for one of the protagonists of the novel?

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.

Laura_X Feb 05, 2016

Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.

SPL_STARR Jun 15, 2015

"124 was spiteful."

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knitty78 Jun 10, 2014

knitty78 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

EuSei Sep 26, 2013

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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EuSei Sep 24, 2012

Violence: Rape. Extreme violence.

EuSei Sep 24, 2012

Sexual Content: Oral sex, incest


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