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New York Times Bestseller 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. "You can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they're transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them."--Barack Obama
Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is haunted persistently by the ghost of the dead baby girl whom she sacrificed, in a new edition of the Nobel Laureate's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.
Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is haunted persistently by the ghost of the dead baby girl whom she sacrificed, in a new edition of the Nobel Laureate's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. 25,000 first printing.
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. Toni Morrison's magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning work--first published in 1987--brought the wrenching experience of slavery into the literature of our time, enlarging our comprehension of America's original sin. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, it 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.
- Comprehensive reading and study guides for some of the world's most important literary masterpieces. - Concise critical excerpts provide a scholarly overview of each work. - The Story Behind the Story details the conditions under which the work was written. - Each book includes a biographical sketch of the author, a descriptive list of characters, an extensive summary and analysis, and an annotated bibliography
With the continued expansion of the literary canon, multicultural works of modern literary fiction and autobiography have assumed an increasing importance for students and scholars of American literature. This exciting new series assembles key documents and criticism concerning these works that have so recently become central components of the American literature curriculum. Each casebook will reprint documents relating to the work's historical context and reception, present the best in critical essays, and when possible, feature an interview of the author. The series will provide, for the first time, an accessible forum in which readers can come to a fuller understanding of these contemporary masterpieces and the unique aspects of American ethnic, racial, or cultural experience that they so ably portray. This casebook to Morrison's classic novel presents seven essays that represent the best in contemporary criticism of the book. In addition, the book includes a poem and an abolitionist's tract published after a slave named Margaret Garner killed her child to save her from slavery--the very incident Morrison fictionalizes in Beloved.
Toni Morrison’s Beloved is one of the most successful novels of all time, selling millions of copies internationally and inspiring critical commentary from scholars of the highest distinction. Its influence is such that it is studied by students of literature around the world and is often cited as one of the most significant books of modern times. However, its popularity belies its difficulty: many find the novel hard to read, struggling with its structure and occasionally fragmented style. This guide is designed to help readers engage with this complex work and achieve a deeper understanding of its context, the literary strategies it employs, and the various ways in which it has been interpreted since its publication in 1987.
A Study Guide for Toni Morrison's "Beloved," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
Presents critical essays that discuss the characters, plot, language, and major themes of the African American author's novel about slavery.
Essays and primary source documents dealing with African history and social conditions aid a critical analysis of the work.
The emergent term, traumatic fiction describes the extraordinary violence inflicted on individuals and groups during a traumatic twentieth-century history which encompasses two world wars, various genocides, the Great Depression, and the Cold War. Traumatic fiction narratives mirror the neurosis of traumatic experience by distorting conventional narrative structures and using literary techniques like fragmentation, textual gaps, and repetition. They critique the social, economic, and political structures which make and maintain trauma. Traumatic fiction narratives focus on the problems of amnesia and memory in the construction of the historical narrative. It questions a "true" historical narrative by focusing on traditionally suppressed voices. Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved (1987) exemplifies this genre of traumatic fiction. However, critics have confused Toni Morrison's traumatic fiction writing style with music. Critics like Lars Eckstein, Peter J. Capuano, and Joanna Wolfe focus their analysis on Morrison's "jazzthetic" quality or the novel's similarities to a slave song; they also argue that the numerous songs incorporated in the novel make the musical quality of her writing essential to understanding this novel. By focusing on the supposed musical quality of her writing, critics have missed Morrison's political purpose. This paper argues that Beloved shows that the dominant white culture, historically contemptuous of the black experience, defines slavery in ways that create trauma for black Americans. Traumatic fiction, it suggests, allows Morrison to access the past and rewrite slavery's narrative. Traumatic techniques allow Morrison to transform her readers into co-witnesses so that a victim's trauma can be externalized, giving the victims much-needed distance from their trauma. That distance allows victims to revisit, reflect, rework, and retell history from a black perspective in order to transcend shame of slavery imposed by white society. Morrison uses traumatic fiction techniques because they provide a language, unmarked by white discourse, for Morrison to tell a black story of slavery that resists forgetting and silencing. Morrison challenges the seemingly authenticated historical story that upholds individualism in order to create room for a new black cultural memory that highlights community, which is its true story.
REA's MAXnotes for Toni Morrison's Beloved MAXnotes offer a fresh look at masterpieces of literature, presented in a lively and interesting fashion. Written by literary experts who currently teach the subject, MAXnotes will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the work. MAXnotes are designed to stimulate independent thought about the literary work by raising various issues and thought-provoking ideas and questions. MAXnotes cover the essentials of what one should know about each work, including an overall summary, character lists, an explanation and discussion of the plot, the work's historical context, illustrations to convey the mood of the work, and a biography of the author. Each chapter is individually summarized and analyzed, and has study questions and answers.
Despite being raised in a religion and culture that forbids secular music, John has always heard music where others simply hear sound. Entirely self-taught, John composes music that he hides from the world; music that has never been played out loud but exists only inside his mind. Then one day while working in the cornfield, John hears beautiful music coming from a nearby farmhouse. Entranced, he walks towards the music and through an open window sees a beautiful, young lady playing the piano. This chance encounter awakens within his heart the desire to hear his own music played. John places one of his compositions in an envelope along with a note and slides it under the door of the pianist. After a life of glamour, travel and music, acclaimed concert pianist, Elise finds herself facing a personal crisis entirely alone. Needing a quiet, peaceful place to recover and heal, Elise abandons her cosmopolitan life and retreats to the Indiana farmhouse she inherited from her grandparents. Broken-hearted and ill, Elise’s days seem to be filled with darkness and depression until she receives a note and sheet music from a stranger. Intrigued, she plays the composition and finds it to be unique, unorthodox and beautiful. Because the music brings joy into her previously dark days, Elise writes a note in response and leaves it on her doorstep hoping the mysterious person will return and find it. Thus, begins a journey that will take both John and Elise down a path that neither expected to walk. In the days ahead, they will face moral and spiritual dilemmas and will have to answer the question: will they follow God’s plan for their lives no matter how high the cost may be? Come: follow John and Elise on a musical journey that will either bring them the greatest heartache they have ever known or the greatest joy.
With excerpts from interviews and reviews, an exploration of the historical documents and slave narrative traditions on which Morrison drew, and an insightful juxtaposition of psychoanalytic and postcolonial approaches to the novel, this guide placesBeloved in the contexts of Morrison's oeuvre and other works of African American literature. Chapters focus on the supernatural elements of the work, as well as the author's treatment of the physical self.
Simon Hart had sworn off romantic entanglements forever. But every man had a weakness, and his was the beautiful, beguiling Tira Beck. He thought the bubbly socialite was a shameless flirt with a cavalier attitude about marriage--until he learned she'd secretly saved all her love for him. Against his will, Simon became entranced by her glorious presence, her every gesture tempting him like a sweet, beckoning caress. Still, he knew she wasn't about to surrender her nights to him casually ... unless he became her beloved.