L'Tanya: I teach Sula. I've read it 16 times, and picking it up every year, at different times in my life, there are certain parts of it that appeal to me. The relationship, the 'woman love,' is so powerful. I have sisters. I was blessed with an amazing mother, and so that woman love is there for me all throughout. The friendship. The power of that friendship is extraordinary. And even now, this idea of passion and living life passionately the way [Sula] does is hitting home for me...
Oprah: Like a redwood and not like a stump.
L'Tanya: Exactly. That largeness. Oh, she inspires me. Every time.
Toni: I am delighted to hear that. No one knows the risk of writing such a book. You know, people are not going to like this because the wonderful person doesn't end beautifully. I'm saying, 'Look, friendship is important. It's important if you have a friend that no matter what, you should hang on to them because [they are rare].'
Gerri: And that's what was so disappointing, because they're so far and few between. The way they could finish each other's sentences and talk for each other...
Toni: They were that close. And of course, only sexual treachery could break them up, which is what in fact will break them up. But I was trying to suggest, 'Okay, your friend may not always be nice. May not always agree. May even drive you mad. May offend you. But if that other quality is there, that is so valuable. That kind of love, you have to hang onto it.'
Who does Toni Morrison write for?
Toni: I feel it, and I feel the connection with other people, and I know that I can't sell you short. I cannot sell my readers short. They know better than that. I don't care what kind of cute little stories they hear. I know they know that when you are writing level one and there's an under-story, I know they hear it. They may even refuse to hear it the first time.
Evelyn: You're the most courageous writer I know. You take risks. You don't care what anybody thinks about the conclusions. The beginning. They're your words. And I just love you for that. I love you for allowing me to be able to read something that helps me identify who I am. And identify relationships. Don't ever stop writing! Don't ever stop writing what you feel, what you love. ... I just thank you for always writing things that you feel and that I feel and that other women feel. ... Somewhere deep down, you know we feel it.