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Sula

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  41,930 Ratings  ·  2,310 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 ...more
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Published August 14th 2007 by Random House Audio (first published 1973)
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Karen Davis If you are a teacher--read the book! I have found, in many, many years of teaching, the only way to assess how useful a specific book is for the goals…moreIf you are a teacher--read the book! I have found, in many, many years of teaching, the only way to assess how useful a specific book is for the goals I have set for my students is to carefully read and annotate the book myself, marking passages for character development, themes, socio-historical context, comparisons with other books or films, etc.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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karen
Feb 04, 2017 karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because each had discovered years before that they were neither white nor male, and that all freedom and triumph was forbidden to them, they had set about creating something else to be.

this one gets 4 "please don't hit me again, sula!" stars.

and honestly, for more than half of it, it was leaning towards 5 stars, and not just because of stockholm syndrome.

i have never read toni morrison before. her name was at the top of my "authors i have never read, much to my great personal shame" list along w
...more
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

In the hills above the valley town of Medallion, Ohio is a small neighborhood known as the Bottom where black residents form a tight-knit community. They are united in their understanding of discrimination and their experience with racial oppression. The Bottom is home to Nel Wright and Sula Peace, two girls whose friendship is solidified by the burden of a horrendous secret. Once grown, they remain guardian
...more
Rowena
Nov 25, 2011 Rowena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Then summer came. A summer limp with the weight of blossoming things. Heavy sunflowers weeping over fences; iris curling and browning at the edges far away from their purple hearts; ears of corn letting their auburn hair wind down to their stalks. And the boys. The beautiful, beautiful boys who dotted the landscape like jewels, split the air with their shouts in the field, and thickened the river with their shining wet backs. Even their footsteps left a smell of smoke behind."- Toni Morrison, S ...more
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
Jibran
Jan 21, 2015 Jibran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, nobel
Hell ain't things lasting forever. Hell is change.

It is time for change; slowly, painfully, but inexorably the spirit of the age sheds old rags and dons a new garb. The mutes are beginning to discover a voice that had been trapped in their windpipes; eyes see things that they had hitherto only watched; and hearts ache with a new throb of hope mixed with fear of which no one can tell which is greater. From this sense of foreboding out comes Sula.

The excluded community confined up in the hills out
...more
Violet wells
Jul 13, 2016 Violet wells rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I’ve ever struggled to review a book I’ve read. Perhaps this relentless English rain is getting to me and addling my brain? Not that Sula was in any way bad. Just that I find my response to it is as mysterious as the book itself. I could say it’s been a while since I read Toni Morrison and my first response was excitement at the reminder of how stunningly she can write a sentence – “Grass stood blade by blade, shocked into separateness by an ice that held for days”. I coul ...more
Fabian
Jun 16, 2011 Fabian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This unerring writer has been the only one to get all 5 star reviews from me so far (for "Beloved," "The Bluest Eye," & this); all of her books have that same wondrous quality. What can be said about our most cherished writer that hasn't already been said? It is really hard to come up with a favorite novel ("Beloved" for its twinges of Goth? "Eye" for its incessant play with tenderness and cruelty? Or this, for its inspiring mix of grief from [the ultraheavy psychological effects of] "Eye" A ...more
Chris
Jan 13, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
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.
Barry Pierce
I always thought of Toni Morrison as one of those writers that your mother reads. Y'know, somewhere in the realms of Danielle Steel. How wrong was I eh? For something so short, the breadth of time and story is remarkable. I loved the dichotomous friendship of Nel and Sula and its eventual result. This novel is surprisingly disgusting as well, like Bret Easton Ellis disturbing. I like twisted tales though and I definitely like Morrison. More like this please!
Cheryl
She had no center, no speck around which to grow.

I can't start to explain this book or the feeling I get each time a new chapter (numbered according to years) gives me the anxious expectation similar to unwrapping a piece of chocolate from the box of assortments - you never know what you'll get.

I can't accurately explain why this fluidity of language, this mixture of elegant vernacular, this exhilarating and encompassing flow of words forms trails down my spine and envelops me into a warm coc
...more
Edward Lorn
Sula is very nearly a horror novel. We're not talking serial killers or unstoppable monstrosities, but raw human horror, the kind of horror of which I wish there was more. Toni Morrison might cringe to think anyone would consider her work in the same breath as horror fiction, but there are quite a few disturbing scenes, ones that I will not spoil or even allude to in this review. I want you to experience them for yourselves. Needless to say, I was shocked by the brutality, and pleasantly surpris ...more
Zanna
Mar 24, 2014 Zanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm grateful to Rowena for inviting me to join The Year of Reading Toni Morrison group which spurred me to read this now. It's one of Toni Morrison's shorter works, and in her brief introduction to this edition, she notes its uniqueness in having a friendly, comfortable opening to orient the outsider (possibly white) reader.
Ignor[ing] the gentle welcome [would] put the reader into immediate confrontation with his wounded mind ['the emotional luggage one carries into the black-topic text']. It wo
...more
jo
Jan 27, 2016 jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ψαχνοντας μικρα σε μεγεθος βιβλια για να εχω ετοιμα για διαβασμα στο κινητο μου επεσα πανω σε αυτο το μικρο διαμαντακι. Την Toni Morrison την ειχα ακουστα απο διαφορα post που εβλεπα απο σελιδες που εχουν σα θεμα τους τα βιβλια και μπορω να πω πως μου ειχε δημιουργηθει μια ενδομυχη περιεργεια να δω τι ακριβως μπορει να γραψει. Χαιρομαι τελικα που της εδωσα μια ευκαιρια διοτι ειναι εκπληκτικη συγγραφεας.

Το πρωτο μισο της ιστοριας ηταν εξαιρετικο.Ξεκιναει με την ιστορια των γονιων των κεντρικων ηρ
...more
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
Onaiza Khan
What a captivating book. Can't get over it.
Jessica
Jun 22, 2017 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
I received this book for free through a complimentary Quarterly Literary Box.

After hearing much about her, I have finally read a book by Toni Morrison. I really enjoyed this book. The way Morrison writes is so beautiful. She definitely has a way with words.

The story itself was interesting. Sula and Nel together were so interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a female friendship quite like that before. Sula had this ethereal quality about her that was really captivating.
Tori (InToriLex)
Find this and other Reviews at In Tori Lex

When I first read this in high school, I loved it but I didn't have the life experience to understand it, that I do now. This book connects with me, because the culture is familiar. Growing up in a black family,  knowing how burdensome and destructive racism is, this broke my heart all over again. The story focuses on Nel and Sula, two best friends who lose each other and have to deal with the after. Friendship between women, is an undervalued part of t
...more
Sarah
Sep 13, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: topnotch
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
349. Sula, Toni Morrison
(سولا - تونی موریسون (نشر قله
سولا، اثر موریسون، سرگذشت و زندگی دو زن سیاه پوست است در اوهایو، زندگی «سولا» و دوست عزیزش «نل»، از کودکی تا بلوغ، و از بلوغ تا مرگ. رمان، جایزه کتاب ملی منتقدان را نیز کسب کرده است
Lawsonlitgeek
Jul 19, 2008 Lawsonlitgeek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivonne Rovira
Apr 23, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Allyson
May 09, 2007 Allyson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✨    jamieson   ✨
“It was a fine cry - loud and long - but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”


My entire literary education has been filled with vague references to Toni Morrison - and yet despite years and years of knowing her name, knowing she was brilliant and hearing so, so much about the beauty of her novels I never picked up one of her books until now.



Sula is a beautiful book. Toni Morrison understands the hearts of people, seems to be able to perceive the souls of hu
...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
Cher
Apr 09, 2013 Cher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Metoka
Aug 19, 2007 Metoka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Britta Böhler
Quick re-read for Max' bookclub Uncovered.
Lindsay
Feb 06, 2013 Lindsay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tiffany E
Mar 16, 2008 Tiffany E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cody
Jan 07, 2017 Cody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit shocked by how raw and horrific Sula is, but it was my first Toni Morrison novel. Perhaps the depravity of humans is common in her work. And that isn't a complaint; quite the opposite, actually. I like my fiction with some brutality (if needed).

Morrison's writing style is very direct, very easy to read — though I must admit I did find myself skimming a bit here and there. Maybe it's me, the reader; I'm feeling a little anxious today, and I couldn't let this one really wrap its arms
...more
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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
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“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.” 552 likes
“Lonely, ain't it?
Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain't that something? A secondhand lonely.”
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