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  1. Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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    • Harold Morrison, ​ ​(m. 1958; div. 1964)​
  2. › biographies › toni-morrisonBiography: Toni Morrison

    Toni Morrison is one of the most celebrated authors in the world. In addition to writing plays, and children’s books, her novels have earned her countless prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.

    • Early Life and Education
    • Life as A Mother and Random House Editor
    • Books
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    • Writing A Libretto
    • Nonfiction Books
    • Late Career Books

    Born Chloe Anthony Wofford on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio, Toni Morrison was the second oldest of four children. Her father, George Wofford, worked primarily as a welder but held several jobs at once to support the family. Her mother, Ramah, was a domestic worker. Morrison later credited her parents with instilling in her a love of reading, ...

    In 1957, Morrison returned to Howard University to teach English. There she met Harold Morrison, an architect originally from Jamaica. The couple married in 1958 and welcomed their first child, Harold, in 1961. After the birth of her son, Morrison joined a writers group that met on campus. She began working on her first novel with the group, which ...

    'The Bluest Eye'

    Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. She used it as her literary first name "Toni," based on a nickname derived from St. Anthony after she'd joined the Catholic Church. The book follows a young African American girl, Pecola Breedlove, who believes her incredibly difficult life would be better if only she had blue eyes. 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 charact...


    Morrison nonetheless continued to explore the African American experience in its many forms and eras in her work. Her next novel, Sula (1973), explores good and evil through the friendship of two women who grew up together in Ohio. Sula was nominated for the American Book Award.

    'Song of Solomon'

    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. The lyrical story follows the journey of Milkman Dead, a Midwestern urban denizen who attempts to make sense of family roots and the often harsh realities of his world. 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 aca...

    Morrison became a professor at Princeton University in 1989 and continued to produce great works, including Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992). In recognition of her contributions to her field, she received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, making her the first African American woman to be selected for the award. T...


    Outside of her academic work, Morrison continued to write new works of fiction. Her next novel, Paradise(1998), which focuses on a fictional African American town called Ruby, earned mixed reviews.

    Children's Books

    In 1999, Morrison branched out to children's literature. She worked with her artist son Slade on The Big Box (1999), The Book of Mean People (2002), The Ant or the Grasshopper? (2003) and Little Cloud and Lady Wind (2010). She has also explored other genres, writing the play Dreaming Emmett in the mid-1980s and the lyrics for "Four Songs" with composer Andre Previn in 1994 and "Sweet Talk" with composer Richard Danielpour in 1997. And in 2000, The Bluest Eye, which initially had modest sales,...


    Her next novel, Love (2003), divides its narrative between the past and present. Bill Cosey, a wealthy entrepreneur and owner of the Cosey Hotel and Resort, is the center figure in the work. The flashbacks explore his community life and flawed relationships with women, with his death casting a long shadow on the present. A critic for Publisher's Weeklypraised the book, stating that "Morrison has crafted a gorgeous, stately novel whose mysteries are gradually unearthed."

    In 2006, Morrison announced she was retiring from her post at Princeton. That year, The New York Times Book Review named Beloved the best novel of the past 25 years. She continued to explore new art forms, writing the libretto for Margaret Garner, an American opera that explores the tragedy of slavery through the true life story of one woman's expe...

    In addition to her many novels, Morrison has crafted nonfiction as well. She published a collection of her essays, reviews and speeches, What Moves at the Margin, in 2008. A champion for the arts, Morrison spoke out about censorship in October 2009 after one of her books was banned at a Michigan high school. She served as editor for Burn This Book,...


    Morrison continued to be one of literature's great storytellers through her 80s. She published the novel Home in 2012, exploring a period of American history once again—this time, the post-Korean War era. "I was trying to take the scab off the '50s, the general idea of it as very comfortable, happy, nostalgic. Mad Men. Oh, please," she said to the Guardian in reference to choosing the setting. "There was a horrible war you didn't call a war, where 58,000 people died. There was McCarthy." Her...

    'God Help the Child'

    In 2015, Morrison published God Help the Child, a layered novella focusing on the experiences of the character Bride — a young, dark-skinned Black woman who works in the cosmetics industry while reckoning with the rejections of her past. That same year the BBC aired the documentary Toni Morrison Remembers. In autumn 2016, she received the Pen/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.

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  3. Aug 5, 2019 · Toni Morrison The Nobel Prize in Literature 1993 Born: 18 February 1931, Lorain, OH, USA Died: 5 August 2019, New York, NY, USA Residence at the time of the award: USA Prize motivation: “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality” Language: English Prize share: 1/1 Life

  4. Aug 6, 2019 · Toni Morrison, the Nobel laureate in literature whose best-selling work explored black identity in America — and in particular the often crushing experience of black women — through luminous,...

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