Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

Beloved by Toni Morrison

       
 

Publisher: Vintage - first published by Alfred A. Knopf

Length: 324 pages

About: Secrets of slave child murder unravel

Style: 3rd person

Where: US (Kentucky)

When: 1870s

 

 

Publisher’s synopsis:

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.

 

Extract:

 124 WAS SPITEFUL. Full of a baby's venom. The women in the house knew it and so did the children. For years each put up with the spite in his own way, but by 1873 Sethe and her daughter Denver were its only victims. The grandmother, Baby Suggs, was dead, and the sons, Howard and Buglar, had run away by the time they were thirteen years old--as soon as merely looking in a mirror shattered it (that was the signal for Buglar); as soon as two tiny band prints appeared in the cake (that was it for Howard).

 

Reviews:

Good:

Morrison's style is both bleak and tender. She writes of the unthinkable without histronics. Her triumph is that through metaphor, dreams and a saving detachment, she melds horror and beauty into a story that will disturb the mind forever.

The Sunday Times, Penny Perrick, October 25th 1987


Not so good:

It is a novel in which themes are more important than people, with the predictable consequence that the people never really come to life.

Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post 1987


About the author

Born Chloe Anthony Wofford on February 18, 1931. Morrison began writing fiction as part of an informal group of poets and writers at Howard University who met to discuss their work. She went to one meeting with a short story about a black girl who longed to have blue eyes. The story later evolved into her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), which she wrote while raising two children and teaching at Howard. In 2000 it was chosen as a selection for Oprah's Book Club. In 1993 Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first black woman to win it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAST          NEXT

 

<1987> -  <1989>


Ratings

Adventure

 7

Filmability

 8

Historical

 9

Humorous

 0

Intellectuality

 6

Life-changing

 8

Page turner

 5

Readability

 5

Romance

 5

 

Age guide: 18

 

 

Novels by same author:

 

Adaptations:

1998 film directed by Jonathan Demme starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover

 

 

© PWF.co.uk

 

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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