"Beloved" Book Club Starts 5/30
Hey friends, first, I need to apologize for being really inconsistent as of late, especially when it comes to the digest posts - I just have had a ton on my plate, both professionally with the new book (preorder now!) and personally. I’m hoping to get more consistent, though I’m still committed to trying to stick to one or two free posts and one subscriber-only post a week, which I think will be a good balance overall.
However, there will be more content for subscribers, because the Book Club is coming back! We’re going to be doing Toni Morrison’s Beloved, starting on Tuesday, May 30th. The first post will be introductory and will not require you to have already read anything. I will assign the first week’s reading in that post. Book clubs in general and ours in specific live or die based on reader participation. If you want to do the book club, don’t be shy, and if you’re a regular reader who’s intimidated about fighting it out in the comments of regular posts, please consider participating. It’s a lot of fun.
This will be a first read-through for me. In my post on Morrison’s novel Sula, one of my top-ten, maybe top-five favorite novels of all time (not an easy list to get onto), I talked a little bit about my somewhat conflicted feelings about Beloved, which was released after Morrison had been canonized and carries a lot of baggage as a Certified Great Book. Beloved was the book many obituary writers reached for when Morrison died in 2019. Beloved was the one made into a movie, which was (or so I understand) widely seen as somewhat portentous and overwrought. I don’t know if that’s true, as I avoided reviews for fear of spoilers about the novel. Now I’m finally ready to wrestle with the book itself, and hopefully set aside my own expectations in doing so. I adore Sula, I like The Bluest Eye and Tar Baby and Song of Solomon very much, I found Jazz to be a perpetually frustrating misfire. Now I’m ready to crack into a book that was (at one point at least) the most-assigned book in the American university, the Pulitzer Prize winner, the National Book Award finalist, the one that crowds people’s memories of Morrison. If you can’t tell, I am somewhat primed to find the book a disappointment, and I can tell you with considerable confidence that I won’t like it as much as Sula, which is a uniquely untamable, fractious, relentlessly brilliant novel. (Read my piece!) But I’m ready, and hoping, to love Beloved.
If you’re unfamiliar with our book clubs, check out our past selections. And if you’re not a subscriber, I’ll make the introductory post free to all so you can see what you’re missing, but the real thing will remain subscriber-only. Please note that when you subscribe to this newsletter you aren’t automatically signed up to receive book club posts, so either follow along on the website or change your settings accordingly. Looking forward to it. Cheers.