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Tar Baby

Toni Morrison

The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby, audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones--of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds. It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inquiry, revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women, white men and women, and black and white people. The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance. It is the black servant couple, who have been with the Streets for years--the fastidious butler, Sydney, and his strong yet remote wife--who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bursts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife. And there is a visitor among them--a beautiful young black woman, Jadine, who is not only the servant's dazzling niece, but the protegée and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine, who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian's expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion, film and art. Through a season of untroubled ease, the lives of these five move with a ritualized grace until, one night, a ragged, starving black American street man breaks into the house. And, in a single moment, with Valerian's perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them and eat, everything changes. Valerian moves toward a larger abdication. Margaret's delicate and enduring deception is shattered. The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions. And Jadine, who at first is repelled by the intruder, finds herself moving inexorably toward him--he calls himself Son; he is a kind of black man she

The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby, audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones--of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds. It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inquiry, revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women, white men and women, and black and white people. The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance. It is the black servant couple, who have been with the Streets for years--the fastidious butler, Sydney, and his strong yet remote wife--who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bursts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife. And there is a visitor among them--a beautiful young black woman, Jadine, who is not only the servant's dazzling niece, but the protegée and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine, who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian's expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion, film and art. Through a season of untroubled ease, the lives of these five move with a ritualized grace until, one night, a ragged, starving black American street man breaks into the house. And, in a single moment, with Valerian's perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them and eat, everything changes. Valerian moves toward a larger abdication. Margaret's delicate and enduring deception is shattered. The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions. And Jadine, who at first is repelled by the intruder, finds herself moving inexorably toward him--he calls himself Son; he is a kind of black man she
More Information

Genres:

Fiction

Description:

The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby, audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones--of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds. It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inquiry, revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women, white men and women, and black and white people. The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance. It is the black servant couple, who have been with the Streets for years--the fastidious butler, Sydney, and his strong yet remote wife--who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bursts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife. And there is a visitor among them--a beautiful young black woman, Jadine, who is not only the servant's dazzling niece, but the protegée and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine, who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian's expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion, film and art. Through a season of untroubled ease, the lives of these five move with a ritualized grace until, one night, a ragged, starving black American street man breaks into the house. And, in a single moment, with Valerian's perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them and eat, everything changes. Valerian moves toward a larger abdication. Margaret's delicate and enduring deception is shattered. The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions. And Jadine, who at first is repelled by the intruder, finds herself moving inexorably toward him--he calls himself Son; he is a kind of black man she

Language:

English

Narrators:

Alfre Woodard

Length:

6h 12m


Chapters

Chapter 1
Chapter 1

04:17


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

03:37


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

03:39


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

04:43


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

04:46


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

05:24


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

05:48


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

05:36


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

06:00


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

05:57


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

04:33


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

02:42


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

01:33


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

05:23


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

05:15


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

02:38


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

04:12


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

03:26


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

01:31


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

04:50


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

04:31


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

05:22


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

03:41


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

04:34


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

04:33


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

03:54


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

03:54


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

04:09


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

04:54


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

04:27


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

04:10


Chapter 32
Chapter 32

04:13


Chapter 33
Chapter 33

05:13


Chapter 34
Chapter 34

04:30


Chapter 35
Chapter 35

04:07


Chapter 36
Chapter 36

02:58


Chapter 37
Chapter 37

04:07


Chapter 38
Chapter 38

05:20


Chapter 39
Chapter 39

04:01


Chapter 40
Chapter 40

03:44


Chapter 41
Chapter 41

05:21


Chapter 42
Chapter 42

05:16


Chapter 43
Chapter 43

05:15


Chapter 44
Chapter 44

04:37


Chapter 45
Chapter 45

06:03


Chapter 46
Chapter 46

03:51


Chapter 47
Chapter 47

03:49


Chapter 48
Chapter 48

04:04


Chapter 49
Chapter 49

05:02


Chapter 50
Chapter 50

04:14


Chapter 51
Chapter 51

05:00


Chapter 52
Chapter 52

03:03


Chapter 53
Chapter 53

05:13


Chapter 54
Chapter 54

04:13


Chapter 55
Chapter 55

06:15


Chapter 56
Chapter 56

06:23


Chapter 57
Chapter 57

06:22


Chapter 58
Chapter 58

05:30


Chapter 59
Chapter 59

04:53


Chapter 60
Chapter 60

02:17


Chapter 61
Chapter 61

03:45


Chapter 62
Chapter 62

04:20


Chapter 63
Chapter 63

01:24


Chapter 64
Chapter 64

04:33


Chapter 65
Chapter 65

03:55


Chapter 66
Chapter 66

02:03


Chapter 67
Chapter 67

04:50


Chapter 68
Chapter 68

03:24


Chapter 69
Chapter 69

04:21


Chapter 70
Chapter 70

05:18


Chapter 71
Chapter 71

04:15


Chapter 72
Chapter 72

06:14


Chapter 73
Chapter 73

06:25


Chapter 74
Chapter 74

07:23


Chapter 75
Chapter 75

05:00


Chapter 76
Chapter 76

03:17


Chapter 77
Chapter 77

04:25


Chapter 78
Chapter 78

03:08


Chapter 79
Chapter 79

01:42


Chapter 80
Chapter 80

03:41


Chapter 81
Chapter 81

04:30


Chapter 82
Chapter 82

04:57


Chapter 83
Chapter 83

04:01


Chapter 84
Chapter 84

03:30


Chapter 85
Chapter 85

03:30