Toni Morrison, considered one of the world's great novelists, died August 5, 2019, in New York City at the age of 88. In 1993, Morrison became the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature; the Nobel committee described her as a writer "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality." Among the many other honors Morrison received over the course of her literary career were the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the American Book Award (for Beloved); the National Book Critics Circle Award (for Song of Solomon); and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Born in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison grew up in a working-class family. She received a B.A. in English from Howard University and a master's degree from Cornell, after which she taught English at Howard for several years. In 1965 she began working as a book editor for Random House, where she played an important role in introducing black literature into the mainstream before launching her own career as a fiction writer in 1970 with The Bluest Eye. Besides her ten subsequent novels, she also wrote nonfiction, children's books, plays, and lyrics for musical compositions. An acclaimed collection of "essays, speeches, and meditations", The Source of Self-Regard, was published in February.
Toni Morrison Bibliography
- Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination 1992
- Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality, editor 1992
- Conversations with Toni Morrison 1994
- The Dancing Mind: Speech Upon Acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters on the Sixth of November, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Six 1996
- Birth of a Nation'hood: Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O.J. Simpson Case, co-editor 1997
- What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction 2008
- Toni Morrison: Conversations 2008
- Burn This Book: PEN Writers Speak Out on the Power of the Word, editor 2009
- The Origin of Others 2017
- The Source of Self-Regard: Essays, Speeches, Meditations 2019
- The Big Box 1999
- The Book of Mean People 2002
- The Lion or the Mouse? 2003
- Poppy or the Snake? 2003
- Remember: The Journey to School Integration 2004
- Who's Got Game? Three Fables 2007
- Peeny Butter Fudge 2009
- The Tortoise or the Hare? 2010
- Please, Louise 2014
Ms. Morrison visited Central Library's Mark Taper Auditorium in 2008 as part of the award-winning ALOUD speaker series presented by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.