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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Review: Sula

Sula - Toni Morrison

Having read other early Morrison novels, I found nothing surprising in Sula. There's the same gorgeous language and calming tone one will find in The Bluest Eye or Beloved, all layered over some of the most horrific scenes in print. More recent Morrison novels are told in the same beguiling whisper, but lack the urgency, and as a result, much of the story, that her earlier works show so abundantly.


Compared to the other early works of Morrison I have read, Sula was similar, but its characters and scenes did not stick with me the same way her others had. Perhaps I'd grown accustomed to the richness of her stories and had too high of expectations. I wonder if it isn't that, for such a short novel, my attention was too divided. Despite being named after one of its characters,  Sula is the least focused on a sole character of the Morrison I have read. It really is the story of Sula and Nel, with equal time spent on Eva's story. All this division of focus in 174 pages left me unattached to the story; nevertheless, I enjoyed Morrison's evocative storytelling and the interactions between the characters. I look forward to the next.