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  • Published: 9 January 1998
  • ISBN: 9780099760214
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336

Tar Baby

Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved, Toni Morrison is one of the finest novelists of our times.

An unforgettable and transformative novel that explores race and gender with scorching insight from the Nobel-prize winning author of Beloved.
Into a white millionaire's Caribbean mansion comes Jadine, a sophisticated graduate of the Sorbonne, art historian - a black American now living in Paris and Rome. Then there's Son, a criminal on the run, uneducated, violent, contemptuous - a young American black of extreme beauty from small-town Florida. As Morrison follows their affair, she charts all the nuances of obligation and betrayal between blacks and whites, masters and servants, and men and women.

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow award for achievement in American fiction

'Toni Morrison was a quintessential, unabashedly American writer. Like her fellow giant, Walt Whitman, her work was, above all, audacious. She seized the landscape with a flourish and wove it, unwove it and put it back together' Bonnie Greer, Guardian

  • Published: 9 January 1998
  • ISBN: 9780099760214
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336

About the author

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. She was the author of many novels, including The Bluest Eye, Sula, Beloved, Paradise and Love. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award and a Pulitzer Prize for her fiction and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, in 2012 by Barack Obama. Toni Morrison died on 5 August 2019 at the age of eighty-eight.

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Praise for Tar Baby

Wonderful... A triumph

New York Times

Toni Morrison makes me believe in God. She makes me believe in a divine being, because luck and genetics don’t seem to come close to explaining her


Deeply perceptive...Returns risk and mischief to the contemporary American novel

New York Times Book Review

Toni Morrison's writing is a train that knows where it's going, fierce and fast-moving in narrative, lyrically showy in description

Sunday Times

Toni Morrison has made herself into the D. H. Lawrence of the black psyche, transforming individuals into forces, idiosyncrasy into inevitability

New York Times

It takes one to the sheer edge of human relationships


Arresting images, fierce intelligence, poetic language...One becomes entranced by Toni Morrison' s story

Washington Post

Mercurial imagination and brilliantly elegant prose-She has the ability to shock and entrance, episode by episode, which is the hallmark of a genuine writer


That rare commodity, a truly public novel... Morrison' s genius lies in her uncanny ability to immerse you totally in the world she creates


Wise, beautiful, astonishing, absolutely breathtaking

St Louis Globe-Democrat

Wrenchingly good. A terrific book

Philadelphia Inquirer

Hypnotic, stunningly alive

San Diego Union-Tribune

Powerful... A stunning performance... Morrison is one of the most exciting living American writers

Kansas City Star

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