The first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize, Toni Morrison is dead.
Toni Morrison, an American writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature, died at the age of 88.
Her novels, “Beloved,” “Song of Solomon,” and others explored the way African-Americans search for freedom and identity in a country obsessed with skin colour.
A decorated novelist, editor and educator — among other prestigious academic appointments, she was a professor emeritus at Princeton University.
Morrison said writing was the state in which she found true freedom.
“I know how to write forever. I don’t think I could have happily stayed here in the world if I did not have a way of thinking about it, which is what writing is for me. It’s control. Nobody tells me what to do. It’s mine, it’s free, and it’s a way of thinking. It’s pure knowledge,”
Growing up in Lorain, Morrison has said, she played and attended school with children of various backgrounds, many of them immigrants. Race and racism were not the overriding concerns in her childhood that they would become in her books.
“When I was in first grade, nobody thought I was inferior. I was the only black in the class and the only child who could read,” she once told the Los Angeles Times. She said
In 1953, she graduated from Howard with a degree in English; she went on to earn a master’s from Cornell University in 1955.
She married Jamaican architect Harold Morrison in 1958 and gave birth to two sons, Harold Ford in 1961 and Slade Kevin in 1964.
She and her husband divorced after six years of marriage.
Morrison began her storied career in letters as a college instructor at Texas Southern University and later at Howard, her alma mater.