Toni Morrison - Beloved

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In 2006 the New York Times chose Toni Morrison's fifth novel from 1987, BELOVED, as the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years, beating Don DeLillo, Cormack McCarthy, John Updike, and many others. Set during Reconstruction, much of BELOVED is told through flashbacks to pre-emancipation days in Kentucky. At the center of this kaleidoscopic tale is Sethe, a woman with a heavy past, emotionally and physically marked by slavery, poverty, and sexual violence. Sethe lives in rural Ohio with her mother-in-law Baby Suggs and her daughter Denver. Their home, however, is haunted by Beloved, Sethe's child who was killed nearly 2 decades before the novel begins. Morrison renders these women's brutal and powerful story in stunning detail through lyrical prose and magical dialog.