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Journal Articles Babel : Littératures plurielles Year : 2011

A Beloved Performance: Reading between the Lines


American author Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction (1988) and the Nobel Prize in Literature (1993) following the publication of Beloved in 1987. Based on a true story, the novel is laced with magical realism that brings shocking aspects of American slave history to light. Morrison’s unforgettable character “Beloved” was later explored through British actress Thandie Newton’s haunting interpretation in a controversial cinematic version directed by Jonathan Demme in 1998. This article suggests that in spite of criticism leveled at the film for exceeding the boundaries of Morrison’s text, Demme’s adaptation remains justified and hints that echoes of the deeply-entrenched attitudes that fostered the institution of slavery in the United States still linger nearly a century-and-a-half after abolition.

Dates and versions

hal-01326926 , version 1 (06-06-2016)



Angela Christie. A Beloved Performance: Reading between the Lines. Babel : Littératures plurielles, 2011, 24, pp.105--120. ⟨10.4000/babel.152⟩. ⟨hal-01326926⟩


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