A poignant piece of literature penned by the late legendary writer Toni Morrison is being adapted for the small screen. According to Deadline, the novel “Sula” will serve as inspiration for a new HBO series.
Released in 1973, the award-winning book chronicles the journeys of two Black women from a small community nestled in Ohio. It captures the racial complexities that existed within their neighborhood and how they navigated injustice. “Sula” explores the different facets of Black womanhood, friendship, motherhood and love. It underscores how life experiences shape how individuals show up in the world.
“I had written ‘Sula’ to talk about something I had known—about friendship in the fullest sense as it existed for certain Black women and other immigrant or pioneering types—women who, because of their race and sex, were dependent on each other sometimes literally for their very survival,” Morrison shared in a 1981 interview with Vogue. “It was a real bond, it wasn’t something that came entirely out of the civil-rights movement. In ‘Sula,’ I wanted to portray such a friendship as a valid experience, an enhancing experience.”
The project will be led by writer Shannon M. Houston and created under producer Stephanie Allain’s Homegrown Pictures imprint. The production company has a first-look deal with HBO and Warner Bros. Television Group. There is no word on when the limited series will make its debut.
Several efforts have been led to honor Morrison’s life, legacy and artistry. News about the HBO series comes nearly a year after Prairie View A&M University announced the launch of the Toni Morrison Writing Program. The curriculum was designed to pay homage to Morrison and inspire writers to transform the future of literature. The $3 million initiative was funded by an endowment from novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott who was one of Morrison’s students at Princeton University.