Beloved (Great Books Edition)

Beloved (Great Books Edition)

by Toni Morrison
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Paperback(Great Books)

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Overview

Beloved (Great Books Edition) by Toni Morrison

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140283402
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 12/15/1999
Series: Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century Series
Edition description: Great Books
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.62(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. She has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in Rockland County, New York, and Princeton, New Jersey.

Hometown:

Princeton, New Jersey, and Manhattan

Date of Birth:

February 18, 1931

Place of Birth:

Lorain, Ohio

Education:

Howard University, B.A. in English, 1953; Cornell, M.A., 1955

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Beloved 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 312 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A child is a gift which cannot be compared to any in the world, but when a child is murdered for the mother's survival, its spirit lingers on in the thoughts and nightmares of the family. Beloved by Toni Morrison is a haunting novel of a mother and daughter, their struggles to survive the shadows of their past, and the secrets that hold them back in irrefutable ways. The deeply troubled main characters and bone chilling plot takes place in a haunting setting which keeps the pages turning and the reader wanting more, even after the novel has ended. MOrrison wrote this novel with spellbounding emotion that can hadrdly be compared to any work of fiction I have ever read. Morrison's brilliant masterpiece transposes the mind of the reader into the time of the Civil War, where escaped slaves are continuously disturbed by their precedent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's a good reason this book won the Pulitzer Prize and is voted the #1 Work of Fiction in the last 25 Years! Amazing book and a must read!

I didn't find it confusing - but it was deep and required you to sit with it sometimes to absorb it - which also seemed to me, intentional by the writer. I loved that about it.

I saw some say it had nothing to do with slavery and I can only tell you that it has everything to do with slavery. It has to do with it's mental and physical abuse and the effects of it. All of this book is about is slavery.

One more thing I HAVE to say... One reviewer said she, Sethe, did what she did to Beloved for her own survival. ...but that's not why she did it... she did it out of love for the child.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
I was very apprehensive about reading Beloved. I heard nothing but bad things about it from the people I know. So I went into it with a bad attitude. After reading the first couple chapters I understood Toni's writing style and was able to really get into it. I was never bored and I was able to put myself in the story. During one chapter I was literally breathless when it ended! It was that real. Parts of this novel are creepy, and I think that is what makes it so unique. You will feel many emotions while reading. It's a feeling that doesn't happen very much. I do have to say, I think people who know a lot about slavery will get more out of this, as it is a book about slavery. A couple things that were mentioned confused me and I had to look them up. I think this is a great book that you should not hesitate to pick up. It is extremely unique and will keep you reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters and their experiences were almost too real to bear. I don't think anyone could ever feel the horror, the pain or the fear the characters must have felt without actually having lived it or had a family member tell it. And yet there was hope and love. I'm so glad to have read it.
Barbara2 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was one of the best books I ever read. I have seen the movie a few times and loved it, thinking this was one of Oprah Winfrey's best works. But when I read the book I could just see the characters in the movie and they were perfectly selected. I think Thandi Newton should have won an award for her portrayal of Beloved. Toni Morrison's writing is beautiful and so revealing of her characters, as well as being one of the best descriptions of slavery before and after the Civil War when it was supposed to be ended. I will keep this book for future readings as it was so exciting I couldn't put it down and hated to see it end. I am looking forward to reading more of her books which I hope are equally good, as they couldn't be better.
theokester More than 1 year ago
Overall I had a hard time with this book. It was a very slow read for me, often talking itself in circles and leaving me confused. Still, I found the story very interesting and thought provoking. I felt awful for Sethe and her family and for the trials they had to endure. Even though, as I mentioned above, I felt that the 'slavery' theme often got overshadowed, I was still struck by the awful fact that slavery did exist (still exists some places in the world) and just how awful it was. Even the "good" slave owners (of "Sweet Home" where Sethe ran from) were despicable and made me shrink in shame. It was a good book, but hard to read. I don't know how good the movie was, but if it's true enough to the book, I might recommend watching that rather than trying to push through the book. Still, it's worth reading if only to get a new insight into the world of slavery and racism that raged (and still lingers) in America and the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beloved was undescribeable. Morrison's use of words to describe events and charectres in the book is gorgeous. I've read it numerous times and each time i fall inlove over and over again.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Hoonyr en la de va boo, er thyu!
18876111 More than 1 year ago
I first read this in a college literature class, and I didn’t really understand the importance of this book. After re-reading it, I understand it a lot more now. Because it is historical fiction, there is a lot of historical context and importance that I didn't understand when I first read it. The book takes place after the American Civil War and deals with the slave trade. With this book, I really saw the trials and tribulations of trying to escape slavery and be free. I found this book intriguing and haunting. In my opinion, it's a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For some reason I can only get this book in Spanish and I can only read English.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Octlow More than 1 year ago
If you are a Literature Major in life you will love this novel. But if not, be prepared to struggle through understanding this narrative of magical realism. This is a very complex novel with multiple themes, motifs and surreal events. Be prepared to read it through at least 2 times and find help to understand it deeper. One of the major hidden themes in the book is "The Middle Passage"; the voyage of the slaves from the coast of Africa to the coast of the Americas. What my generation has hidden so well is the holocaust of approximately 60 million slaves that either died in passage, (due to living conditions on the ship) or were thrown overboard during passage due to illness, or new births that would not make the journey. After reading this I am amazed at how well whites have either altered history or ignored history of blacks in America. It is an excellent book if you are willing to put the time and effort into it. Good Luck.
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Boring and a waste of good reading time. I was so disappointed in the story. I am a reading and English teacher, and I read a lot. I have a hard time believing this book won a Pulitzer Prize. What were they thinking???? Please, do not waste your time.
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To all the people complaining that this novel is difficult, boring, weird, senseless, etc and calling Morrison a bad writer or overrated, I can't have any other reaction but to smile and feel bad that those people do not have the mental capacity to understand such incredible writing. If Toni Morrison was not an extraordinary writer, she would not have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, or the Pulitzer. Yes, this is a difficult book to read. Yes, it will take very close reading and sometimes rereading but please do not diminish the value of this absolutely beautiful and haunting literary work. Morrison is an absolute genius and if you cannot understand her or think she's "overrated", just accept that you will never be able to grasp this work of ART or the level of language/literature it's written in. Do yourself a favor and enrich your library and soul with this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautiful.
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