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Beloved by Toni Morrison
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Beloved (original 1987; edition 2004)

by Toni Morrison

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,568366162 (3.89)2 / 1049
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. After the Civil War ends, Sethe longingly recalls the two-year-old daughter whom she killed when threatened with recapture after escaping from slavery 18 years before.… (more)
Member:aaf7
Title:Beloved
Authors:Toni Morrison
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

  1. 101
    Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (susanbooks)
  2. 41
    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 41
    The Known World by Edward P. Jones (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  4. 20
    A Killing in This Town by Olympia Vernon (hyacinthony)
    hyacinthony: I was reminded by Morrison's poetic narrative voice at the end of part 2 of Vernon's narrative style. Both books convey a powerful and mysterious spiritual force embedded in the violence of post-slavery african american conditions.
  5. 31
    Cane by Jean Toomer (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: An often overlooked classic.
  6. 20
    A Visitation of Spirits by Randall Kenan (lottpoet)
  7. 21
    Mojo: Conjure Stories by Nalo Hopkinson (cammykitty)
    cammykitty: This collection of short stories is nowhere near as dark as Beloved, but it's worth following these tales to the crossroads.
  8. 10
    Bailey's Cafe by Gloria Naylor (PrincessPaulina)
  9. 11
    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (shaunie)
    shaunie: Morrison's masterpiece is a clear influence on Whitehead's book, and his is one of the very few I've read which bears comparison with it. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's also a masterpiece, a stunningly good read!
  10. 22
    The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines (karmiel)
    karmiel: Both books include a strong woman who attempts to build her life as a free woman after escaping/exiting slavery.
  11. 11
    Philida by André Brink (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The true meaning of freedom, the price of freedom, cruel things people do in the name of love and cruel acts performed without love are the focus of these books.
  12. 01
    Family by J. California Cooper (Cecrow)
  13. 01
    Sap Rising by Christine Lincoln (edwinbcn)
1980s (10)
Ghosts (45)
Reiny (7)
hopes (16)
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» See also 1049 mentions

English (348)  French (5)  Spanish (3)  Italian (3)  Dutch (3)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Czech (1)  All languages (366)
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
Sethe and her daughter, Denver, live in a house haunted by Sethe's baby girl who died 18 years ago. When Paul D, a man who was enslaved with Sethe, arrives and shakes up the house, they think the haunting may be over but then a young woman appears from nowhere, calling herself after the one word inscribed on the baby's stone: Beloved.

This is an intricate, challenging, beautiful, and heartbreaking exploration of the legacy of slavery in the lives of one family and their community. Whether Beloved is really the ghost is left open for debate, but her presence ultimately changes Sethe and Denver as they grapple with the past. A deserved Pulitzer Prize winner, and just as worth reading now as when it was published in 1987. Its complexity rewards the rereader. ( )
  bell7 | Sep 15, 2021 |
My first Morrison. Terrific!
Don't wait, get this book and read it. Life is short. ( )
  ghefferon | Aug 22, 2021 |
This novel tells the tale of slavery, freedom, sacrifice, redemption, and love. Sethe, the central character, must be one of the most complex and interesting women in American literature. Living with the past heavy on her shoulders, and a ghost haunting her house, she still manages to explore love and stand tall with pride (maybe too much?) The supporting characters, both past and present, are also well developed and easy to empathize with.

Morrison's writing style, while not exactly easy to read, is captivating, inventive, and brings the right sense of foreboding and fantasy to the tale. I am not a fan of magical realism but this novel couldn't exist without it. ( )
  technodiabla | Aug 1, 2021 |
At times magical, other times downright indecipherable. I needed help following the story from time to time, but at her most lucid, Morrison's novel is both lyrical and poignant. The time covered is both prior to and a decade after emancipation, but in some ways, we get the sense it may as well have been last year. I was often reminded of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury -- different storytellers, some more reliable than others, powerful characters, many of whom are headstrong, others tragic.

Speaking of characters, Stamp Paid belongs in a classic fiction hall of fame. ( )
  markburris | Jul 11, 2021 |
DNF at 37 pages. I can see that it's clever but I just don't enjoy reading the prose.
  Tara_Calaby | Jul 7, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
"Beloved" is Toni Morrison's fifth novel, and another triumph. Indeed, Ms. Morrison's versatility and technical and emotional range appear to know no bounds. If there were any doubts about her stature as a pre-eminent American novelist, of her own or any other generation, ''Beloved'' will put them to rest.
 
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.
added by g33kgrrl | editPublishers Weekly (Aug 17, 1987)
 
Morrison traces the shifting shapes of suffering and mythic accommodations, through the shell of psychosis to the core of a victim's dark violence, with a lyrical insistence and a clear sense of the time when a beleaguered peoples' "only grace...was the grace they could imagine."
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morrison, Toniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dekker, BesselTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Natale, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Beloved ( [1998]IMDb)
Awards and honors
Epigraph
I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. Romans 9:25
Dedication
Sixty Million
and more
First words
124 was spiteful.
Quotations
I will never run from another thing on this earth.
Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
And though she and others lived through and got over it, she could never let it happen to her own. The best things she was, was her children.
Being alive was the hard part.
Nobody stopped playing checkers just because the pieces included her children.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this complete 1987 novel and any abridgement of the original Work. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. After the Civil War ends, Sethe longingly recalls the two-year-old daughter whom she killed when threatened with recapture after escaping from slavery 18 years before.

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Average: (3.89)
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