The controversial book didn't sell well, with Morrison stating in a 1994 afterword that the reception to the work was parallel to how her main character was treated by the world: "dismissed, trivialized, misread."
Song of Solomon (1977) became the first work by an African American author to be a featured selection in the Book of the Month club since Native Son by Richard Wright.
Morrison received a number of accolades for the novel, which would go on to win the National Book Critics Circle Award and become a perennial favorite among academics and general readers.
A critic for Publisher's Weekly praised the book, stating that "Morrison has crafted a gorgeous, stately novel whose mysteries are gradually unearthed."
As a critic from the Washington Post described it, the novel is "a fusion of mystery, history and longing," with the New York Times singling out the work as one of the 10 Best Books of the year.