Beloved by Toni Morrison

$16.00

Upon the original publication of Beloved, John Leonard wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “I can’t imagine American literature without it.” Nearly two decades later, The New York Times chose Beloved as the best American novel of the previous fifty years.

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Our Bookseller says:

In 1992, Toni Morrison said “In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.” This statement stands true to this day, as demonstrated when Disney executives and Adam Sandler’s Waterboy joined forces to make the film adaption of Beloved a box office bomb. Regardless of how the American public feels about the movie, the novel is a gorgeous, vital, and absolutely timeless work.

Beloved is one of the best ghost stories ever written (inspired by reports of a slave mother who killed her child rather than return her to slavery) partly because the Atlantic Slave Trade is teeming with boundless horrors to work with. The guts of American history distend with crimes committed against Black bodies, and Morrison tears them out for all to see. Intergenerational trauma, systemic torture, and fractured families occupy these fearsome pages, and I dare you to look away. – Terry

Beloved is the story of Sethe, an escaped slave who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has withstood savagery and not gone mad. Sethe, who now lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing apparition who calls herself Beloved.

Sethe works at “beating back the past,” but it makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in her memory; in Denver’s fear of the world outside the house; in the sadness that consumes Baby Suggs; in the arrival of Paul D, a fellow former slave; and, most powerfully, in Beloved, whose childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who 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 possession of the present—and to throw off the long-dark legacy of the past—is at the center of this spellbinding novel. But it also moves beyond its particulars, combining imagination and the vision of legend with the unassailable truths of history.

Beloved by Toni Morrison