By Toni Morrison
I read Beloved when it came out in 1987, and it was one of the most difficult books I've ever encountered. The rhythm of the writing, the cadence—it was like learning a new language where you're just banging your head against a wall. Then, after several chapters, a door opens and you're in. To me, the book is all emotion, a big morass of feeling. It's remarkable. What this woman goes through, what she believes she has to do is so horrific—you can't help but think, "How does she survive?"