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'Toni Morrison's Fiction': Session Two, Sula

The second session of the 6-part Video Talk Series titled 'Toni Morrison's Fiction'


Spring, 2021

Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

The recording accidentally omits the beginning of my talk, in which I say a few words about Morrison's transition from The Bluest Eye to Sula. I then turn to the alienated figure of Shadrack and quote from p. 12 forward. The opening lines of the passage I quote, omitted from the recording and taking you up to the point where the videotape begins, are as follows: "Twenty-two years old, weak, hot, frightened, not daring to acknowledge the fact that he didn't even know who or what he was . . . with no past, no language, no tribe, no source, no address book, no comb, no pencil, no clock, no pocket handkerchief, no rug, no bed, no can opener, no faded postcard, no soap, no key, no tobacco pouch, no soiled underwear and nothing nothing nothing to do . . . he was sure of one thing only: the unchecked monstrosity of his hands. He cried soundlessly at the curbside of a small Midwestern town wondering where the window was . . ."

Click the image below to view this video.

My book What Else But Love? sets up an ongoing comparison between Toni Morrison's fictional portrayal of race and that of William Faulkner. You can read an excerpt from this book by clicking below.


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