Gift Edition, 321 pages

English language

Published Sept. 29, 1998 by Knopf.


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4 stars (8 reviews)

"Beloved possesses the heightened power and resonance of myth. An extraordinary novel." --Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Toni Morrison's magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel--first published in 1987--brought the unimaginable experience of slavery into the literature of our time and into our comprehension. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, it is the story of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked her life 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. 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 …

56 editions

Review of 'Beloved' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I read this book once, 10 years ago, and to be honest I dreaded having to reread it for a class. My first experience was frustrating. I felt confused and alienated to the story. Then again, I felt confused and alienated about most things: I was in my early twenties.

I'm so glad this book gave me another chance. After a decade of digital, this book was like vinyl. Funny how I couldn't connect to the story a decade ago, yet today, the raw and powerful feelings of emotional desperation coursing through these characters have resounded in me like an echo of some familiar, intimate history of my own - though, admittedly, a milder, bourgier one.

There are complicated scenes in this book. By that I mean, scenes that aren't meant to be passed through quickly, but can stay with you and resolve themselves through you as you live, if …

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  • African American women--Fiction.
  • Women slaves--Fiction.
  • Infanticide--Fiction.
  • Ohio--Fiction.