1998 1st edition "First Edition" stated; Alfred A. Knopf publishers, New York; hardbound in black boards with gilt stamped lettering on cover and spine; very good condition with unmarked pages, appears unread; dust jacket very good.
Paradise is a 1997 novel by Toni Morrison, and her first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. According to the author, it completes a "trilogy" that begins with Beloved (1987) and includes Jazz (1992).
The book was chosen as an Oprah's Book Club selection for January 1998. Morrison wanted to call the novel War but was overridden by her editor.
The book is structured into nine sections. The first is named "Ruby" after the town on which the book centers. The rest are named for women implicated variously in the life of the town and the Convent. The Convent women are Mavis, Grace (known as "Gigi"), Seneca, Divine (whose name is actually "Pallas"), and Consolata (also known as "Connie"). The Ruby women - or children, in the case of Save-Marie - are Patricia and Lone. Though the chapters are named for specific characters, in telling their stories, Morrison tells the parallel histories of the town of Ruby and the Convent seventeen miles south of it, and how the men of Ruby become intent on destroying the Convent women.
Paradise opens in 1976 with nine men going in for the kill. They are the prominent men of Ruby, a purposefully isolated, peaceful all-black town in Oklahoma with a population of 360. In this group are the twins Steward and Deacon "Deek" Morgan, the de facto leaders of the town. Throughout the book we gradually learn why Ruby was founded, the history of the failed town of Haven that preceded it, and the reasons for Ruby's rigid hierarchies and stringent exclusion of outsiders, to the point where the town's leaders decide they must eliminate the nearby Convent, not in fact a convent but rather a former embezzler's mansion now inhabited by a group of women with troubled pasts.
Before Ruby, there was Haven. Founded in Oklahoma in 1890, Haven was founded by