Toni Morrison: "Beloved"
Since the publication of her first novel in 1970, Toni Morrison's work has provided a new voice for African Americans and has focused clearly on the ... Show synopsis Since the publication of her first novel in 1970, Toni Morrison's work has provided a new voice for African Americans and has focused clearly on the 'double burden' of Black women who struggle against racial prejudice and a male-centred society. In Beloved, published in 1987, Morrison gives a voice to the 'disremembered and unaccounted for' in Black American history, setting the novel during the post-Emancipation 1880s. Stylistically innovative and bold in its experiments with narrative, the work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. In 1993 Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature. In this Readers' Guide, Carl Plasa presents and analyses the most important writings on Morrison's novel, beginning with a discussion of the novel's reception and a consideration of selected interviews with Morrison in the years following publication. Chapters are given to critical writings on the supernatural element of the work, with extracts from Deborah Horvitz, Elizabeth B. House and Pamela E. Barnett, and to treatments of the physical self, with essays from David Lawrence and Kristin Boudreau. In the final chapter, the Guide considers criticism which has focussed on postcolonial and postmodern perspectives. Throughout, Carl Plasa's narrative contextualises and clarifies the critical material on this complex and important work.