East Austin Book Club

Discussing books together, on the third Monday of every month at Native Hostel & Bar on Zoom, 7pm sharp

Song of Solomon

by Toni Morrison

Cover artwork for Song of Solomon

Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.

Discussion questions

  • Milkman feels used, why does he believe this?
  • What role does he play in each characters life?
  • Which family history story did you find the funniest?
  • How did the women left behind from the "flights" interpret them?
  • What did guitar mean that everyone wants the life of a black man?
  • How does Morrison set up comparisons between a northern Black life and a Southern?
  • What role do ghosts play?
  • How are the relationships portrayed?
  • Why do Milkman and Guitar grow apart?
  • Is what the seven days do a form of justice?