Toni Morrison (1931 – 2019)

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Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio.

Morrison passed in August 2019 at 88.

Morrison is an American novelist, essayist, editor and teacher. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, the Nobel Prize in Literature, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, among others. At age 12, Morrison became a Catholic and took the baptismal name Anthony, after the Saint, which was shortened to the nickname, Toni. After graduating high school she enrolled at Howard University and graduated with a BA in English and continued her studies at Cornell University where she received her masters in 1955.

Morrison wrote her first novel, The Bluest Eye, while she was teaching at Howard University and raising her two sons on her own. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. This story describes a slave who found freedom but killed her infant daughter to save her from a life of slavery.

She won the National Books Critics Award for Song Of Solomon, a tale of the renunciation of materialism and the strength of brotherly Love. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, the first African-American woman to receive this prize.
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Books by Toni Morrison