February 23, 2012

Granted it’s generally unwise to believe the hype, but everyone should make an exception to that rule for Toni Morrison, who is a master of prose fiction. Beloved is a remarkable contribution to world literature for many reasons: metaphor and a sense of human character on the level of Faulkner; total mastery of historical setting; and what surprised me most, what’s perhaps most unusual about this book, is that it’s not only about the injuries that history perpetrates on the human mind, but specifically about the injuries it perpetrates on the naive mind of a trusting child, injuries that are filigreed forever in the life of the adult, and which Morrison embodies in her genius creation, the ghost-child “Beloved.”