My book recommendation for Women’s History Month is
Toni Morrison’s novel
, published in 1973. Morrison is best known for her tour-de-force Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
, another novel well worth reading during Women’s History Month, but
highlights the complexities inherent in a variety of women’s relationships—mothers and their children of all ages, women and their husbands or lovers, but most importantly women and their women friends. In the mix of it all is the experience of African Americans in an America still struggling with race decades after the Civil War (the novel takes place from 1919 to 1965). For much of the novel the two main characters—Nel Wright and Sula Peace—hold each other up as best friends, until a fateful moment challenges that relationship. I first read
in college in 1989, and it changed my view of women and of the world. Every time I reread it to teach it (as I am doing now for my American Women Writers class), it reminds me how important a novel it is for women in America.