In this powerful novel - extraordinary for its breathtaking drive, stylistic pananche and more depth - four young women are brutally attacked in a convent near an all-black town in America in the mid-1970s. The inevitability of this attack, and the attempts to avert it , lie at the heart of Paradise. Spanning the birth of the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, the counter culture and the politics of the late 70s, deftly manipulating past, present and future, this novel of mysterious motives reveals the interior lives of the citizens of the town with astonishing clarity. The drama of its people - from the four young women and their elderly protector, to conservative businessmen, rednecks, a Civil Rights minister and veterans of three wards - richly evokes clashes that have bedevilled American society: between race and racelessness; patriarchy and matriarchy; religion and magic; freedom and belonging; promiscuity and fidelity. . Magnificent in its scope, Paradise is a revelation - not only for the intensity of its portrayal of human complexity but for the sheer force of its narrative. It is without doubt Toni Morrison's masterpiece. (1997-07-28)
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"They shoot the white girl first. With the rest they can take their time. No need to hurry out here. They are 17 miles from a town which has 90 miles between it and any other. Hiding places will be plentiful in the Convent, but there is time and the day has just begun." So begins Paradise, Toni Morrison's first novel since winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. As one would expect from the author of such brilliantly imagined novels as Song of Solomon, Beloved and Jazz, Morrison's Paradise is ambitious, political, deeply spiritual and peopled with characters as complex as they are unforgettable. Time is fluid in the universe of this particular novel; though set in 1976, Morrison travels easily between eras, taking the reader back in time to the founding of Ruby, an all-black township in Oklahoma, at the end of World War II, then further back to the establishment of its predecessor, Haven, which parallels the story of Exodus: a band of former slaves wanders the Oklahoma territory in search of a homeland. Overlying the strong sense of character and place that imbues each page is a touch of the supernatural--ghost children skitter through the halls of an abandoned Catholic girl's school and "unseen friends" visit lonely women by night.
Even as Morrison deftly limns the history of the town and its inhabitants, she lays the foundation for the conflict brewing in the present-day story: A new minister has come to town, bringing with him a whiff of the politics that engulfed that era--civil rights, student uprisings, rioting in the streets--activities which speak to the restlessness of the town's youth. Meanwhile, 17 miles away at the former girls' school nicknamed "the Convent," a small group of unconventional women have moved in. Their stories, told in individual chapters bearing their names, are also stories of exile, exodus and eventual homecoming. For the men of Ruby, however, these women represent everything that is dangerous about the outside world and as the sanctity of Ruby's traditions begin to crumble, nine men go on a deadly hunt.
As always, Morrison is not afraid to explore the relations between the races or the genders and she is particularly adept at creating characters who, though frequently not likable, are always sympathetic. Paradise is a book you'll want to read more than once and each time you'll find something new to haunt and amaze you. -- Amazon.comReview:
"It is a tour de force of writing" Independent on Sunday "Deeply serious and unexpectedly beautiful" Harpers and Queen "Compassionate, violent and magical" Good Book Guide
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Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. A little bit of wear. May contain some library markings. Bookseller Inventory # V239660096
Book Description Random House. Hardcover. Book Condition: GOOD. A little bit of wear. May contain some library markings. Bookseller Inventory # V240750161
Book Description Chatto & Windus. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Book shows a small amount of wear - very good condition. Bookseller Inventory # G0701160411I4N00
Book Description Chatto & Windus, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Usual signs of a well read book but good overall condition. May not look good on your bookcase after reading and probably not suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere ALL ITEMS POSTED NEXT WORKING DAY. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000379846
Book Description Chatto and Windus, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0001829165
Book Description Chatto & Windus. Book Condition: Very Good. 1998. First Edition. Hardcover. Clean copy in original cloth wth good dustwrapper. . . . . Special Offer: This seller is offering an exclusive discount of 25% on all prices for AbeBooks customers. Original Price: 6.65 EUR. Order now to avoid disappointment. Bookseller Inventory # KEX0242235
Book Description Random House, 1998. Book Condition: Good. First UK edition. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP9531131
Book Description Chatto and Windus, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Good. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000241207
Book Description Chatto & Windus, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Paradise This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # W3-L3-R231-MB001-D22-00055
Book Description Chatto & Windus. Book Condition: used-good. Bookseller Inventory # BM-L1-R010-MB001-B9-00065