Upon its publication in 1987, Beloved was deemed a masterpiece, and it went on to win the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Through the character of Sethe, Morrison investigates the tragic, true-life events surrounding an ex-slave named Margaret Garner. The institution of slavery becomes magnified through a heinous act of violence that haunts Sethe throughout her life. The novel examines Sethe’s psychological wounds as she struggles to find strength to counteract the unthinkable memories of her past. With prose that is lean, clear, and beautiful, Morrison joins the past with the present through Sethe’s remembrances. Morrison focuses on the mental anguish of slavery amid the physical brutalities, and she presents a wrenching exploration of slavery’s legacy in America. Beloved is one of the monumental achievements of literature in the 20th century and one of the central reasons Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. It is my favorite novel, and it is a reading experience I cherish as more valuable and emotional than any other book.