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Sula Oprah Number 36 Paperback – Mar 29 2002

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (March 29 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452283868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452283862
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.3 x 20.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,889,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

In Sula, Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for literature, tells the story of two women--friends since childhood, separated in young adulthood, and reunited as grown women. Nel Wright grows up to become a wife and mother, happy to remain in her hometown of Medallion, Ohio. Sula Peace leaves Medallion to experience college, men, and life in the big city, an exceptional choice for a black woman to make in the late 1920s.

As girls, Nel and Sula are the best of friends, only children who find in each other a kindred spirit to share in each girl's loneliness and imagination. When they meet again as adults, it's clear that Nel has chosen a life of acceptance and accommodation, while Sula must fight to defend her seemingly unconventional choices and beliefs. But regardless of the physical and emotional distance that threatens this extraordinary friendship, the bond between the women remains unbreakable: "Her old friend had come home.... Sula, whose past she had lived through and with whom the present was a constant sharing of perceptions. Talking to Sula had always been a conversation with herself."

Lyrical and gripping, Sula is an honest look at the power of friendship amid a backdrop of family, love, race, and the human condition. --Gisele Toueg

From Library Journal

Hearing an author read her own work creates a special ambiance. To hear Morrison read a short, unabridged novel published 24 years ago, to hear in her voice how much she still values the writing, well, who could ask for more? The only drawback is that Morrison, while very much in tune with her characters, often lets her voice drop to a whisper, making these tapes difficult to listen to while driving and almost impossible on a highway with the window open. On the page, Sula is one of her more clearly defined novels?the friendship and later hatred that envelopes the lives of two black women from "the bottom"?but the imagistic nature of the writing means listeners may have to replay passages if they want to follow the action. A small price to pay for a masterpiece.?Rochelle Ratner, formerly with "Soho Weekly News," New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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In that place, where they tore the nightshade and black-berry patches from their roots to make room for the Medallion City Golf Course, there was once a neighborhood. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teddy on Feb. 8 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the story of two black girls, Sula and Nel who become the best of friends in 1973 small town in Ohio. It is both a coming of age story and the trials and tribulations of adulthood, with little opportunity. Both women follow different paths but eventually converge.

I have heard so many wonderful things about this little book that I had to see what all of the fuss was about. I read Morrison's The Bluest Eye for a women's studies course in university years ago and really got a lot out of it, so I was quite hopeful with Sula.

What I got, was what seemed like stereotyping. It seemed like Morrison was almost poking fun at her own culture. While the reader new what was happening, the story seemed to be intentionally confusing and ambiguous.

From the description on the back cover of this book, it says:
"Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black women in America"

Granted, this book was written in 1973, but I pray that this does not define "what it means" to be a black woman anywhere!

I won't go as far as saying that this book is a waste of time. I wouldn't have finished reading it if I thought it was, but Morrison can and has done better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Haensel on March 20 2007
Format: Paperback
Toni Morrison's second book, Sula, is a short beautifully written story about the nature of freedom in early and mid-century america: the nature of freedom , that is, for an African-American woman. In subtle and powerful ways Morrison shows how racism and sexism shape the roles and possibilities of female blacks in america. She shows how women bear these roles, and faced with no other option, live with a grace and dignified quietism.

In to the midst of this she introduces the character of Sula, easily one of the most memorable characters every to grace the pages of an American novel. Sula lives for herself, to find herself, to be herself; and it turns everything on its head.

The novel is lighter in tone than some of Morrison's later masterpieces and yet with stunning economy of language and unforgetable characters she creates a full and challenging portrait of a community that is both a pleasure to read and unforgetable.

If you haven't read Morrison, this is probably the best place to start. If you have, then this is another wonderful novel, easily one of her best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angel Karmer on June 14 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this novel for my AP English class and I was glad I did. This novel blurs the lines between conventional good and evil. Sula is supposed to the evil one and Nel the good but their actions sometimes do quite the opposite. For example, Sula killed a boy (evil) but did it by accident when she was playing with him so he wouldn't be lonely (good), for Nel just wanted him to go away (evil). When Sula realized she had killed him, she was broken-hearted (good) but Nel didn't care about it except for the fact that someone might have seen them (evil). Yes it might seem that I am painting Sula to be a good person but she isn't for she did sleep with her best friend's husband. Sula kept the town together for without the bad example of her ways, wives neglected husbands and mothers neglected children.
One theme is of a mother's love but in this way too, Morrison blurs the line. Eve cut off her leg to raise money to care for her children and she jumped out a window to save her burning daugther, yet killed her son, Plum, when she realized his drug addiction was turning him into a child again.
This novel will make you think. It's packed with irony, symbolism, and many themes. A sad one being why a town is called "The Bottom" when it is in reality on top of a hill. This is a heartfelt story of two young women who grow up with different backgrounds, coming together out of necessity. Sula is a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and feel confused with your emotions. Its a wonderful book and I wish it hadn't ended so quickly.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first Morrison book I read, found it in the bookstore and figured I'd give it a try.

I was a little disappointed in it as she's an award-winning author and a paragon of American literature. It hasn't put me off trying some of her other books, but I didn't really connect with the characters, and I attribute that more to the writing style than the fact that I did not grow up poor and black in pre-civil-rights America. There's just way, way too much telling and not enough showing. Not a lot of dialogue. Isn't "show, don't tell" a cardinal rule of writing? I'm okay with telling up to a point but this really came across as a bit amateurish in my opinion.

The setup for the friendship between Sula and Nel is good, and I agree that what Sula does to Nel later in life would likely split them up as friends, but I never connected with the angry feelings Nel should have had.

I'll try you again, Ms. Morrison. One unmoving book does not a reputation make.
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By Salvatore Ruggiero on Feb. 18 2004
Format: Paperback
Toni Morrison's second novel, "Sula", is a wonderful piece of artwork that spans many decades, revealing the growth of the African-American society and the sentiments felt by those who have observed it.
"Sula" is like a duel novel, where we are told the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace. They are women separated by differing outlooks on life and then reunited when they feel middle age.
Nel is our flat character, the one who remains the same; she is the "sensible" one, where she stays in her hometown and does what every African-American woman is doing at the time, being subservient to the rest of society.
Sula, however, is our tragic figure, the one who goes out to receive an education, who betters herself and refuses to see the gates that whites and blacks have put up for her.
It is a moving and powerful story, where there are so many vivid moments that make you want to cringe, to vomit (e.g. Sula slicing her finger), but this only adds to the splendor and magic of this novel. Although this is definitely not an original idea, for Nella Larsen did it in her novel "Passing", Morrison is working with controversial subject matter, and it is amazing to see her succeed at it.
"Sula" is a mini-epic that is bound to move the reader at the power of friendship and the bonds that these women share, even through the trials and tribulations of mid-twentieth century life.
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