Sula
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Sula

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  28,746 ratings  ·  1,574 reviews
"Extravagantly beautiful...enormously, achingly alive...a howl of love and rage, playful and funny as well as hard and bitter."--New York Times

This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.

Nel Wrigh

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Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 5th 2002 by Plume (first published 1973)
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The Color Purple by Alice WalkerTheir Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonThe Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm XBeloved by Toni MorrisonInvisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Best African American Books
21st out of 509 books — 595 voters
She's Come Undone by Wally LambThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara KingsolverI Know This Much Is True by Wally LambNight by Elie WieselMiddlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Oprah's Book Club Picks
41st out of 75 books — 1,139 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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brian
all these new editions of morrison’s books have the same author photo on the back. and it’s been causing problems. check it out:





despite that weird author hand placement thing, i've been kinda seriously obsessing over all these pictures of morrison's huge lion's head, piercing eyes, and silver dreads... and as i plow through her body of work i stare at her face for some external indication of all the furious demented & psychotic shit she flings at us. by all appearances she's a lovely woman....more
Chris
Toni Morrison is the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas, the flea's eyebrows, the canary's tusks, the eel's ankle, the snake's hip, and the mutt's nuts.
Lawsonlitgeek
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Armstrong
I want to first preface this with a concept presented by Harold Bloom. Bloom was discussing the admission or omission of 'ethnic' writers from the canon. He argued the reason there were so many white male writers is because, obviously, of societal factors of oppression, but also because they were the ones doing most of the writing. Bloom does not think we should rewrite the canon with new ethnic writers just because there aren't any. He DOES think an ethnic writer is important and should be ackn...more
Sarah
I disliked Sula.

Sula the book was great; a bit dry at points, but - of course - very well written, very well rendered by Toni Morrison. This is my first TM book, and I think it was a good introduction.

Hannah is one of my favorite characters. I am quite baffled as to how someone could describe a woman who basically sleeps with every man in town but make her seem so tame and likeable that I can't count it against her. I think that's the point; she was dependent on someone else for her financial se...more
Allyson
The usual caveats apply with regards to my review and rating of this book (see my profile), but overall I didn't enjoy Sula because it made me profoundly uncomfortable. I distinctly remember feeling depressed and disheartened by the premise put forth by the novel that in order for a woman to be truly free, she had to behave like Sula--whose behavior I found quirky at best and reprehensible at worst.

What's more, even Sula with all her freedom didn't seem to be truly happy--there were still too m...more
Metoka
Aug 19, 2007 Metoka rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Feminists
Sula is controversial and she doesn't care. This is a novel about friendship in its most overwhelming form - not two women as friends, but two women as one: sharing, sharing, sharing until sharing was no longer appropriate...but does Sula know that? Did Nel?

Best lines:

1. "When you gone to get married? You need to have some babies. It'll settle you"
"I don't want to make somebody else. I want to make myself."


2. "She had been looking all along for a friend, and it took her a while to discover that...more
Shannon *Eboni Scarlett* Holliday
Sula was a gift to me from an old boyfriend who I had been having trust issues with. I never forget he gave me this book as a birthday gift. I read it feeling mixed with emotions regarding my thoughts of his cheating or potential cheating with other women. Nonetheless, I read this book. I remember getting mad at Sula because it seemed no matter who was nice or extended kindness to her she always managed to have a negative reaction towards them. After finishing this book I recall feeling angry wi...more
Tiffany E
Mar 16, 2008 Tiffany E rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone 11th grade and up
Sula is rich with amazing figurative language and outstanding imagery. Reading this book will fully immerse the reader into the joys and tragedies of the characters within it. The story centers on two characters - Sula Peace and Nel Wright. The bond these girls share are remarkable, and soon enough, is tested over time. Eventually, however, one of them commits the ultimate betrayal, which tears them apart. This book focuses on many aspects of life, and really challenges the double standards that...more
Nakia
(1/15/13 review)Love! Love! Love!

(2009 review)Fantastic story! Morrison is a powerhouse when it comes to story telling. In this short book, she will manage to gain your heart, break it, and then heal it on the very last page. I'm glad Oprah made this one of her book selections so women everywhere could get the chance to experience and live through the life long friendship of Sula and Nel. The only way I know to describe this story: gorgeous!.
Cher
2 stars - Meh. Just ok.

Toni Morrison has been on my personal "must read" authors list for years, so it is especially disappointing to find that her style is simply not a good fit for my tastes. This book jumps from one unpleasant subject to the next, bouncing in and out of a stream of consciousness flow. While appropriate for the time in which the novel is set, I also found the repetitive, constant focus on race to be platitudinous and unfortunate. There are far more things I would like to know...more
Ivonne Rovira
May 12, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever loved — and lost — a best friend
Recommended to Ivonne by: Karen Morgan
I really enjoyed Sula, although The Bluest Eye, my first Toni Morrison read, remains my favorite. The book lays open the stark choices that women had for most of the 20th century, between staid, upright housewife and woman of the world. I still don’t know how to discuss the book without giving away too much. Let me just say that Sula follows the relationship of two African-American girls — the polar opposites, Nel and Sula — in an Ohio river town from the 1920s into 1940.

Unlike a lot of “serious...more
Kate
Sula seemed to me completely different from Toni Morrison's Beloved, and I enjoyed Sula much more. While the presence of Sula, a strong, unique African-American girl, is discernable throughout the book, much of it actually focuses on other characters like her best friend Nel and the town veteran/madman/drunkard Shadrack. I like how the book begins with the story of her mother and grandmother so we get a sense of Sula's history. In fact, her one-legged grandmother Eva is one of the most intriguin...more
Daniel
Once again, Toni Morrison has fucked me up with brilliant writing and the ability to shape a character's misery into an implement that slips past flesh and bone before delivering a lifetime of pain into the jelly nether regions that we try to keep to ourselves. The final passage of "Sula" delivered the most piercing blow, and after I put the book down I was left gassed, limp, and a little depressed.

I love it.

I don't welcome pain or misery--which is to say, I don't read memoirs, and I don't truck...more
Connie
Toni Morrison has written a lush, earthy story, set in a segregated area of Ohio, about the black experience between 1919-1965. Nel, who has a very traditional childhood, becomes the best friend of Sula who lives in an unstructured environment. When they become adults, Nel got married, had children, and stayed in her hometown. Sula went away to college, and had affairs with many men, following the path of her sensual mother. Sula returned to her hometown after ten years, became the source of gos...more
Kata
Aug 20, 2012 Kata rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kata by: Beverly
I have read some amazing books in the last few months. I only hope to continue on this torrent of amazing reads. I've been wound tight on Toni Morrison as of late and Sula did not disappoint me at all.

Eva, the matriarch of the family, at the center of Morrison's novel is an astoundingly strong woman who behaves shockingly at times. Her daughter, Hannah is carefree and promiscuous. Sula, the main character is Hannah's daughter. The reader is introduced to Sula at a young age. She and her best fr...more
Rose
I can now say I've read this author whom I've heard of for years now & can agree that she's a terrific writer, her way with words is lovely & leaves a lasting impression & I'll definitely read some of her other books. That said I will regretfully admit this story was deeply depressing & I disliked almost all the characters. I found them all to be pretty selfish & cruel & just a really unpleasant lot. The friendship between Nel & Sula was completely unimaginative as it...more
James
Toni Morrison is a brilliant author, I think it would be hard to argue otherwise. And I imagine her Nobel Prize is well deserved. (Can you feel a "but" coming? Here it is…) But, I didn't enjoy this book.

I would draw a parallel to classical music. I have heard many classical pieces written in the 20th century, which I disliked. I found many to be discordant. But it is simply a matter of taste. Some of these works have been very highly praised for their originality and creativity by people far mo...more
Aislyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anasylvia
Feb 20, 2014 Anasylvia rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone. Especially young women.
“There in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning.”

After watching theJunot Diaz and Toni Morrison conversation that took place in December, which you can watch here.
Junot Diaz and Toni Morrison interview

(It's long but worth it!) I was utterly fascinated by Toni Morrison. She is a name that I have heard my entire life. She was that author that I always said, “Yea, I’ll get around to reading her eventually” Ye...more
Sheaa
The novel Sula, is a very unique and complex story. There are multiple life lessons in this book that one can take to better or analyze his or her life. Sula intrested me because of the authors way of writing. The stories told within Sula may sometimes be seen as a bit odd but in the end, there was always a lesson to it or main point. Sula is the main character of the book, and the one that intrigued me the most. Throughout the book Sula's faces alot of issues and problems in her life, she shows...more
Marcos
I love, love, loved this novel. I absolutely did not want it to end. What an amazing and sweetly horrific and human reading experience. Madame Toni's riff on friendship, and meditation of relationships and of love....

Here's my review:

I discovered the magic of Toni Morrison’s prose and language ten years ago when I was a freshman in undergrad. The first Morrison work I’ve read was “The Bluest Eye”, which to me was a magical experience; except now with constant re-readings to teach for high school...more
Lindsay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna
This is my first Toni Morrison book. I plowed through it even though I thought it bizarre. Sula is a story of two women who are kindred spirits and yet the exact opposite. They share laughter and secrets, daunting horrifying secrets. Yet, as they become older, they drift only to be drawn together to try and share their adulthood in the only way Sula knows possible. At times, Sula is the hero and other times, she is the devil personified. So is Nel...it just depends on whose perspective you want...more
Jade
Sula by Toni Morrison is a great book because I love the main theme which is friendship. Sula and Nel went through betrayal, fights, and anger during the whole book. I also love how Toni Morrison describes the different communities in Ohio. There are two different societies which is The Bottom and Medallion. The Bottom is mainly a black community. Long time ago, a master gave the Bottom to his former slave as a "gift". But it wasn't really a gift because then many whites wanted the hilly land fo...more
Offuscatio
"-¿En serio? ¿Qué prueba tienes de ello?
- ¿Prueba? ¿Para mostrársela a quién? Niña, yo tengo mis propias ideas. Y mis pensamientos. O lo que es lo mismo, me tengo a mí.
- Un poco solitario, ¿no?
- Sí. Pero mi soledad es mía. La tuya en cambio pertenece a otro. Otro la creó y te la entregó. ¿No tiene gracias? Una soledad de segunda mano."

Mucho más crudo, perverso e incómodo que "Ojos azules", pero igualmente interesante y bien escrito.
Carolina
Gave this book a 4 star because yes, it was well written, but there were a few dead-spots where I didn't wish to continue reading. Overall, the main theme of good versus evil was clear and easy to understand. The only trouble was deciding who was truly evil, whether it was Sula or Nel. This book also shows what happens with the absents or presence of family or friends. Love is a minor theme too. Sula shows different types of love, there is the detached or co-dependent type. It shows how women ac...more
Julie
Sula is the story of two women, Nel and Sula who meet as young girls in the Bottom, a poor African American hillside community above the town of Medallion, Ohio. Growing up together they quickly become friends, sharing good times, laughs and secrets. Although they are best friends, they approach life very differently. Nel grows up in a traditional household and lives her life closely following society’s rules and expectations. She marries right after high school and quickly settles into life as...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I listened to this book on Audio, about eleven years ago. This was the first and only book I've read by Toni Morrison that left me unmoved. I think that reading it might have given it greater impact, because I felt like I was viewing this story through thick glasses, completely uninvolved. I really should read this book again, to see if I absorb more from it the second time around.
Kibriyaa Lindsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Friendship 12 53 Apr 25, 2013 09:04PM  
Sula's Mother 2 22 Apr 25, 2013 08:35PM  
Do you think Sula would have acted differently if she had some type of “father-figure” at home, such as a granddad or dad? 2 19 Mar 10, 2013 05:58PM  
Ethnic Women Writers: Morrison's Prose 7 11 Sep 18, 2012 02:12PM  
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), is an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."
Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k...more
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“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.” 353 likes
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