As girls, Nel and Sula shared each other's discoveries and dreams in the poor black mid-West of their childhood. Then Sula ran away to live her dreams and Nel got married. Ten years later Sula returns and no one, least of all Nel, trusts her. SULA is the story of the fear that makes people accept self-pity; the fear that will not countenance escape and that justifies itself through myth and legend. Sula herself is cast as a witch and demon by the people who resent her strength. They attack her with the most pervasive weapon of all, the weapon of language and story. But Sula is a woman of power, a wayward force who challenges the smallness of a world that tries to hold her down.
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(198mm x 129mm x 12mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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US Kirkus Review »
In a neighborhood where pain - "adult pain that rested somewhere under the eyelids" - is as pervasively omnipresent as the loveliness of May's green shade trees, death and its omens can be accepted as another face of God. But in the closed black community of the high hill overlooking a white Ohio town, there are two who stand outside the defensive webs of familial interdependence. There is mad Shadrach, victim of World War I, who defies death's capricious obscenity by ringing his bell for National Suicide Day every year - and one year he has some takers. And Sula, who will die, not like "other colored girls" rotting like a stump, but falling "like a redwood." For she is the product of a "household of throbbing disorder" and had learned isolation and the "meaningless of responsibility" early when she accidentally caused the drowning of a little boy. Intemperate, restless, Sula had some of the arrogance of her one-legged grandmother Eva. It was Eva who had long ago pondered the meaning of love when she used her only food (lard scrapings) to cure her baby boy's bellyache; yet when her son was a man, regressing to the womb of drugs, she burnt him to death. Sula also watched her mother die in flames, conscious only that she wanted the dying dance to go on. She left the village and returns to become the community's unifying evil - but will the people eventually love one who stood against the sky? Miss Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye (1970) in her deceptively gentle narrative, her dialogue that virtually speaks from the page, and her multilayered perceptions drawn through the needle's eye of any consciousness she creates, is undoubtedly a major and formidable talent, and this is an impressive second novel. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931) is an American novelist, editor, and professor. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon and Beloved. She was also commissioned to write the libretto for a new opera, Margaret Garner, first performed in 2005. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved and the Nobel Prize in 1993. On May 29, 2012, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.