Toni Morrison, one of the most decorated American authors in history, dead at 88

Photo by Deborah Feingold / Corbis via Getty Images.

Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison has died aged 88, according to a press release issued Tuesday by her editor, Knopf. No cause of death was immediately provided.

Known for her invigorating, kaleidoscopic novels that examine the lives of black people in America, Morrison is one of the most decorated authors in American history, having won a Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Awards medal for his distinguished contribution to letters. Americans, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. , the National Humanities Medal, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.

Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Lorain, Ohio on February 18, 1931, Morrison was one of four children. In 1953, she graduated from Howard University with a BA in English. She was the first African-American female editor hired by Random House, where she worked from 1967 to 1983 and edited projects for Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton and Toni Cade Bambara. His first novel, The bluest eye, was published in 1970 with fanfare, although it eventually became a staple for teachers of African American literature and studies. Throughout her life she wrote 11 novels, including Sula, Song of Solomon, Jazz, Paradise, and 2015 God help the child-in addition to children’s books, plays and nine non-fiction works, including The source of self-esteem, a collection released in February.

She had many famous readers among her fans, including Oprah Winfrey, who starred in the film adaptation of Morrison’s book in 1998 Beloved, and former president Barack Obama, who awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2012.

In recent years, her public appearances have declined, although she has appeared in a documentary about her life, Toni Morrison: The pieces that I am, which was established in June 2019.

“Language alone protects us from the fear of things without a name,” Morrison said in his 1993 Nobel Prize speech, which was delivered in part as a parable about an old woman whose “reputation for wisdom is unmatched and without a doubt”. She continued, “Language alone is meditation.”

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