Paradise

Toni Morrison, Author Alfred A Knopf Inc $25 (318p) ISBN 978-0-679-43374-3
So intense and evocative in its particulars, so wide-ranging in its arch, this is another, if imperfect, triumph for the Nobel Prize-winning author (Song of Solomon; Beloved; etc.). In 1950, a core group of nine old families leaves the increasingly corrupted African American community of Haven, Okla., to found in that same state a new, purer community they call Ruby. But in the early 1970s, the outside world begins to intrude on Ruby's isolation, forcing a tragic confrontation. It's about this time, too, that the first of five damaged women finds solace in a decrepit former convent near Ruby. Once the pleasure palace of an embezzler, the convent had been covered with lascivious fixtures that were packed away or painted over by the nuns. Time has left only ""traces of the sisters' failed industry,"" however, making the building a crumbling, fertile amalgam of feminine piety and female sexuality. It's a woman's world that attracts the women of Ruby--and that repels the men who see its occupants as the locus of all the town's ills. They are ""not women locked safely away from men; but worse, women who chose themselves for company, which is to say not a convent but a coven."" Only when Morrison treats the convent women as an entity (rather than as individual characters) do they lose nuance, and that's when the book falters. Still, the individual stories of both the women and the townspeople reveal Morrison at her best. Tragic, ugly, beautiful, these lives are the result of personal dreams and misfortune; of a history that encompasses Reconstruction and Vietnam; and of mystical grandeur. 400,000 first printing; simultaneous audio and large print editions (ISBN 0-375-40179-2; -70217-2) (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/22/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
Show other formats
FORMATS
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-40179-4
Other - 978-0-676-77042-1
Hardcover - 978-0-676-53763-5
Hardcover - 978-0-7838-8336-6
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-84-663-0091-9
Prebound-Glued - 340 pages - 978-0-613-17428-2
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-375-70217-4
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-15852-7
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-0-452-28039-7
Hardcover - 978-0-609-00005-2
Open Ebook - 978-0-307-38811-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-57788-7
Prebound-Glued - 318 pages - 978-0-7569-0003-8
Paperback - 978-0-09-976821-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.