Beloved

Morrison, Toni

Knopf, 1987

p. 23

“In all of Baby’s life [Baby is the heroine Sethe’s mother, represented here in the 1850s] . . .men and women were moved around like checkers. Anybody Baby Suggs knew, let alone loved, who hadn’t run off or been hanged, got rented out, loaned out, bought up, brought back, stored up, mortgaged, won, stolen, or seized. So Baby’s eight children had six fathers. What she called the nastiness of life was the shock she received upon learning that nobody stopped playing checkers just because the pieces involved her children.”