Cinema: Bewitching Beloved

Oprah Winfrey brings a novel of slavery powerfully to the screen

Thin love ain't no love at all," says Sethe, the fiercely defiant runaway slave in Toni Morrison's Beloved. Oprah Winfrey's love for the book was thick, warm, abiding. With eyewitness immediacy and the God's-eye view of fictive art, Morrison brought the intimate evil of slavery to life in the story of a mother's ultimate sacrifice. When Winfrey discovered the novel upon its publication in 1987, she was moved as a reader, as an African American, as a woman who suffered the death of the child she gave birth to when she was 14; for Oprah, Beloved was a central fable of...

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