Toni Morrison started her career as an editor — the first Black female editor at Random House — and her literary criticism is incisive and brilliant. She had an unparalleled ability to apply those skills to her own works, and I can’t possibly do more justice to Sula (her second novel, which circles around expectations and expressions of Black womanhood in the mid-20th century) than she herself does in the foreword: “In much literature a woman’s escape from male rule led to regret, misery, if not complete disaster. In Sula I want to explore the consequences of what that escape might be, not only on a conventional black society, but on a female friendship." And in her meticulous prose, every perfectly chosen word there for a reason: “In 1969, in Queens, snatching liberty seemed compelling. Some of us thrived; some of us died. All of us had a taste.” Recommended By Madeline S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal — or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald, and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.
"You can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they're transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them." Barack Obama
“Exemplary....The essential mysteries of death and sex, friendship and poverty are expressed with rare economy.” Newsweek
“Extravagantly beautiful....Enormously, achingly alive....A howl of love and rage, playful and funny as well as hard and bitter.” The New York Times
About the Author
Toni Morrison is the author of eleven novels, from The Bluest Eye (1970) to God Help the Child (2015). She received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She died in 2019.