Toni Morrison was an American novelist who began writing in 1970. Her first two novels, Song of Solomon and The Bluest Eye, brought her national attention. The latter was a critically acclaimed novel, winning her the National Book Critics Circle Award. The author has also written two short stories and several essays.
Beloved has been hailed as a work of genius, a masterpiece. No other American novel has so beautifully mapped the psychobiography of its ideal reader. While Beloved is a masterpiece, it is not a perfect book. It requires a certain amount of interpretation and is best read as a whole, rather than read in isolation.
Sethe’s inner turmoil is depicted through a process called “remembrance.” This is a kind of psychic haunting, wherein a person recounts specifics of a traumatic event even while denying it from re-emergence into consciousness. In Beloved, this occurs repeatedly and is a central element of the novel’s structure.
The storyline of Beloved is both a ghost story and reflection on slavery. A classic work of literature, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1987. It is a tribute to the 60 million Africans who were enslaved by the slave trade.