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Publisher's Summary

"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.

©2017 Toni Morrison (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Morrison has brought it all together: the poetry, the emotion, the broad symbolic plan." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Stunning.... Morrison at her novelistic best." ( The New Yorker)

Featured Article: 85+ Toni Morrison Quotes on Life, Love, Freedom, and Hardships


The first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison, who passed away on August 5, 2019, left behind a legacy of wisdom in her novels and essays. Her work explores topics like human nature, happiness, love, and enduring hardships, but also delves into the subject of freedom and what that has meant for African Americans. These quotes will get you through tough times, inspire you to look at yourself, and much more.

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What listeners say about Paradise

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  • Overall
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MORRISON AT HER MOST COMPLEX

This book is for those who enjoy high brow fiction. The easily achieved pleasures of Beloved do not exist here. Morrison relies heavily upon the reader's knack for allusion and close-reading. Morrison does not provide simple entry ways into complex ideas, as she did before winning the prize. She had more to prove then, which often came at the expense of implication and carefully trimmed prose. Instead, she now walks in the full AUTHORITY of reputation and allows the assumptions of her genius--that the prize affords--to force the reader to do the work to find what is most certainly there and carefully stitched in the structure and prosody of Paradise: GENIUS. This book is an absolute MUST for literary folk. English majors do yourself a favor: BUY THIS BOOK!!!

18 people found this helpful

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Beautiful words go a long way.

I generally enjoy Toni Morrison. This is the first of her works that I listened to on audible. If you are accustomed to great actors and multiple
Voices telling a story this book may be difficult for you. However if you can appreciate hearing every word pronounced and enunciated with the author’s intent you will love it. The tragedy mixed with hope makes this worth reading. Glad I listened and will likely listen again

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding.

A work of genius. Complexly spun. Great women characters of depth. A great read. Splendid.

2 people found this helpful

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Boring

Could not finish. The readers voice was way too monotone. Just couldn’t keep my interest.

1 person found this helpful

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Complex and entertaining

overall it was a good story. it was complex and there are a lot of characters so it can make it difficult to follow along. Toni Morrison is not a good narrator for an audio book. I felt I would have enjoyed the book much better if another narrator was used for the audio book.

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So relevant

Once again Ms. Morrison has managed to encapsulate every struggle of the Black diaspora within the story of everyday Black life!

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It’s Toni. Nothing else you can say. So good.

It’s Toni Morrison. I never want it to end. She is brilliant in every way. May she Rest In Peace and light.

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not one of her best

I struggled throughout this book, at first tried to listen, finding T.M. 's pace of telling and her style hard to follow, so I continued reading on Kindle. whereas I get the inside message of this book, I really didn't like it

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The power of paradise

words are such a powerful thing and this story is powerful!!! I love it 💕

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Complex Story Requiring Close Reading

It was very enjoyable but confusing to listen to. Recommend getting the book so that you could follow along and or get a character guide