"Rumors had been whispered for more than a year. Outrages that had been accumulating all along took shape as evidence. A mother was knocked down the stairs by her cold-eyed daughter. Four damaged infants were born in one family. Daughters refused to get out of bed. Brides disappeared on their honeymoons. Two brothers shot each other on New Year's Day. Trips to Demby for VD shots common. And what went on at the Oven these days was not to be believed . . .  The proof they had been collecting since the terrible discovery in the spring could not be denied: the one thing that connected all these catastrophes was in the Convent. And in the Convent were those women."


In Paradise—her first novel since she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature—Toni Morrison gives us a bravura performance. As the book begins deep in Oklahoma early one morning in 1976, nine men from Ruby (pop. 360), in defense of "the one all-black town worth the pain," assault the nearby Convent and the women in it. From the town's ancestral origins in 1890 to the fateful day of the assault, Paradise tells the story of a people ever mindful of the relationship between their spectacular history and a void "Out There ... where random and organized evil erupted when and where it chose." Richly imagined and elegantly composed, Paradise weaves a powerful mystery.  — The Sleeve.

Conversation: Toni Morrison - Elizabeth Farnsworth for PBS
Paradise Found: Time Cover Story Jan. 19, 1998 - Paul Gray
The Salon Interview of Toni Morrison, Feb 1998 - Zia Jaffery

Book Reviews
Reading and insight in Toni Morrison's Paradise - African American Review
Paradise: Worthy Women, Unredeemable Men - Michiko Kakutani, NY Times
Paradise - Evelyn E. Shockley, African American Review
Paradise - Reggie Young, The Christian Century
Paradise - Elizabeth Bartelme, Commonweal
'This side of Paradise' : Toni Morrison Defends Herself - Anna Mulrine
Eden, Oklahoma: Trouble in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Brent Staples
Numerous Reviews at Amazon Books

Excerpt at John Mark Ministries
Excerpt at "Slate"

Essays on Paradise
"Passing on" Death: Stealing Life in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Sarah Appleton Aguiar
Furrowing all the Brows: Interpretation and the Transcendent in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Philip Page
The One All-Black Town Worth the Pain - Katrine Dalsgard
Racial Stock and 8-rocks: communal historiography in Toni Morrison's 'Paradise' - Rob Davidson
Reading and insight in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Linda J. Krumholz
Hybridizing the "City upon a Hill" in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Ana Maria Fraile-Marcos
Re-imagining Agency: Toni Morrison's Paradise - Magali Cornier Michael
"As if word magic had anything to do with the courage it took to be a man":
              Black Masculinity in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Andrew Read
Creating the Beloved Community: Religion, Race, and Nation in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Channette Romero
The Other Side of Paradise: Toni Morrison's (Un)Making of Mythic History - Marni Gauthier
"Everything About Her Had Two Sides to It": The Foreigner's Home in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Susan Neal Mayberry
Trauma Recovery in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Mei-Chuang Huang [.pdf]
Toni Morrison's (Hi)storytelling—The Use of History in Paradise, Love, and A Mercy - Elzbieta Rokosx-Piejko [.pdf]
Religious Overtones of Ethnic Identity: Building in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Ana Ma Fraile Marcos [.pdf]
Locating "Paradise" in the Post-Civil Rights Era: Toni Morrison and Critical Race Theory - Richard L. Schur [.pdf]
Sharing Female Power: The Female Characters in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Ellen Ching-yu Chiu [.pdf]
Playing on the "Darky": Blackface Minstrelsy, Identity Construction, and
              The Deconstruction of Race in Toni Morrison's Paradise - Dana A. Williams [.pdf]

Oprah's Book Club Paradise page -
What is "paradise" in the novel? - Toni Morrison in Germany
Fantastical & true - Elizabeth Bartelme, Commonweal
Random House's Paradise page
Paradise Cover

Backto Toni Morrison

Site copyright ©1996-2011 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on January 23, 1998. Last updated on January 7, 2011.