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  • Published: 23 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448138623
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

God Help the Child

The potent new novel from the Nobel Laureate

Toni Morrison's fierce and provocative novel exposes the damage adults wreak on children, and how this echoes through the generations.

Sweetness wants to love her child, Bride, but she struggles to love her as a mother should.

Bride, now glamorous, grown up, ebony-black and panther-like, wants to love her man, Booker, but she finds herself betrayed by a moment in her past, a moment borne of a desperate burn for the love of her mother. Booker cannot fathom Bride's depths, with his own love-lorn past bending him out of shape. Can they find a way through the damage wrought on their blameless childhood souls, to light and happiness, free from pain?

'Haunting. . . Moving. . . Fearless. . . . God Help the Child yet again proves that Toni Morrison is an icon' Bustle

Winner of the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction

  • Published: 23 April 2015
  • ISBN: 9781448138623
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

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.

Also by Toni Morrison

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Praise for God Help the Child

It is so beautifully written, full of perfect sentences…with such profound understanding of sympathy for her damaged characters… This is a wise, humane, enriching novel. If it should prove to be Toni Morrison’s last, it is quite a finale

Allan Massie, Scotsman

Slim but powerful… A tale that is as forceful as it is affecting, as fierce as it is resonant

Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Morrison ... proves with God Help the Child that her writing is still as fresh, adventurous and vigorous as ever. ... Morrison’s characteristically deft temporal shifts and precisely honed language deliver literary riches galore. And which this novel is very readable, the pleasure is in working for its deeper rewards.

Bernadine Evaristo, Observer

And the writing. Oh wow, the writing. Not for nothing has Morrison been garlanded with a Novel Prize, Pulitzer and National Book Critics Circle Award. There’s always a sense of grand occasion when Morrison releases a book, and with good reason: the journey is always vivid, dazzling and rich, each paragraph a mealy morsel in its own right. A highly personal and affecting tale that manages to be deftly political, God Help the Child is emotionally rousing and gut-wrenching

Tanya Sweeney, Irish Independent

A piece of mastery ... Sensitive to legacies of abuse, to pressures of racism, image, taboo and economics, and to the harmful fictions and common social madnesses of the modern Western world, it found an impossible-seeming, myth-like form to reveal the interconnections between these, never losing its streetwise footing in the process.

Ali Smith, New Statesman, Books of the Year

There is much to be admired: perspective, luminous language, and courage in confronting the difficulty of the big subject

Razia Iqbal, Independent

A complex novel… It comes off beautifully, like a Picasso painting telling a story in a multi-dimensional series of superimposed snapshots as each character becomes ever more rounded and complete

Susan Elkin, Independent On Sunday

True to style, the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning Morrison uses simple yet poetic prose as she tackles timely issues in a timeless way

Big Issue in the North


Viv Groskop, Red

Raw and uncompromising… Moving but not for the faint-hearted

Vanessa Berridge, 4 stars, Daily Express

A realistic, beautifully written novel

She Knows UK

Morrison excels at bringing uncomfortable topics to the fore, weaving themes of family and the importance of how we treat our children together in an incredibly evocative, poignant and winning novel

Lucy Frith, 5 stars, Stylist

The language, shifts in points of view and the audacity of the novel’s premise are overwhelming. Morrison remains an incredibly powerful writer who commands attention no matter the story she is telling

Roxane Gay, Guardian

The themes here can be brutal…but the voices and fierce emotions will win your heart. Seductive or raging, bewildered or heartbroken, they are all, in the end hopeful

People Magazine

[Morrison’s] brilliant work continues


It is a testament to Morrison’s excellence as a writer that a book that is largely focused on the abuse of children is such compulsive reading

Liadan Hynes, Sunday Independent

A compelling, and oddly uplifting, read

Monica Tomas, Totally Dublin

Intricate and inventive

Daily Telegraph

What a privilege and pleasure it is to read… The book hooked me from the first chapter… I recommend this book, as I would all the others by this author.

Jan Jeffery, Nudge

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