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Sula (1973)

by Toni Morrison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,901881,152 (3.83)1 / 372
At the heart of Sula is a bond between to women, a friendship whose intensity first sustains, then injuries. Sula and Nel are both black, both smart, and both poor. Through their girlhood years, they share everything. All this changes when Sula gets out of the Bottom, the hilltop neighborhood where there hides a fierce resentment at the invisible line that cannot be overstepped.… (more)
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» See also 372 mentions

English (87)  Danish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
After finishing Song of Solomon, I knew I had to read more Morrison, and thanks to the Book Riot podcast, I decided Sula was what I should read next.

This book was marvelous. I am not going to say anything new about Morrison's writing -- she was a genius and it should be universally acknowledged. I loved this book for centering women and their complicated relationships, especially in a small town. Women trying to make lives, choosing from the narrow options afforded them as Black women in the early 20th century. It resists easy judgements on its characters and their actions even as it sets up Sula and New as opposites in some ways, their lives remain entangled and mirror each other in complicated ways.

A gem of a novel. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 25, 2022 |
Sula is a 1973 novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison
The novel begins when the construction of a golf course is announced, the site being the destroyed remnants of what used to be the Bottom
  CarrieFortuneLibrary | Sep 5, 2022 |
This is a hard book to review. I've seen it call "grit lit" and gritty it is!

The story takes place in Medallion, a small town in Ohio, in the "Bottom" which is populated by the black community in town. While there is some interaction with the rest of the world, and many characters travel to and from Medallion, the world of the Bottom seems self-contained and very self-referential.

The main characters are two young girls who grow up as friends, inseparable as they grow up. The two could not be more different. Wildly different family backgrounds and values. But they find a connection in each other that seems like it can never be severed.

Without giving any spoilers, there is eventually a dramatic event that splits the two friends apart and becomes a defining moment for both of them.

Surrounding the two girls is a swirl of colorful characters:
- Three boys from different families and ages all re-named Dewey by Sula's grandmother and referred to as "the deweys" through the rest of the book
- A WWI veteran clearly suffering from PTSD (a term not yet coined when this book was written) who creates and publicly celebrates his own unique holiday: Suicide Day on January 3rd each year
- Sula's grandmother - a one-legged force of nature
- Sula's grandmother's lodger - a white addict re-christened "Tar Baby"

And there are a lot what must be allegorical references that I don't exactly understand. A plague of robins (of all things!), several people who are burned alive at various points in the book, a parade that ends up in tragedy when they march into an unfinished tunnel which then collapses and kills them all - on Suicide Day.

Overall an interesting book full of interesting characters, overlaid with determination to survive in the face of despair.



( )
  sriddell | Aug 6, 2022 |
Had to read this for school, actually was not half bad. spoiler alert: the main character is crazy as frick ( )
  TrinityYouth | Aug 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morrison, Toniprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alien, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bertolotti, AntonioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGuire, James LPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polz, Karinsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vink, NettieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wood, OwenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Nobody knew my rose of the world but me.... I had too much glory. They don't want glory like that in nobody's heart."

- The Rose Tattoo
Dedication
It is sheer good fortune to miss someone long before they leave you. This book is for Ford and Slade, whom I miss although they have not left me.
First words
In that place, where they tore the nightshade and blackberry patches from the roots to make room for the Medallion City Golf Course, there was once a neighborhood.
Quotations
the only way to avoid the Hand of God is to get in it
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

At the heart of Sula is a bond between to women, a friendship whose intensity first sustains, then injuries. Sula and Nel are both black, both smart, and both poor. Through their girlhood years, they share everything. All this changes when Sula gets out of the Bottom, the hilltop neighborhood where there hides a fierce resentment at the invisible line that cannot be overstepped.

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