Toni Morrison, First African American Woman Writer To Win Nobel, Author OF 'Beloved,' Dies At 88 - Insight Trending

Toni Morrison, First African American Woman Writer To Win Nobel, Author OF 'Beloved,' Dies At 88

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Toni Morrison, First African American Woman Writer To Win Nobel, Author OF 'Beloved,' Dies At 88
Toni Morrison, author of seminal works of literature on the black experience such as "Beloved," "Song of Solomon" and "Sula" and the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize in Literature for her novels depicting the struggles of black Americans living in a white society ridden with racial discrimination, has died, her family and her publisher Knopf confirmed Tuesday. She was 88. Morrison died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York after a brief illness, the publisher said. 

Her publishing imprint, Alfred A. Knopf, said in a statement Tuesday that Morrison died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, Morrison's family, in a statement released by the publisher, said she died following a short illness.

Morrison is best known for her novels "Beloved," "The Bluest Eye," and "Song of Solomon," all of which explored African American identity and America's complicated history of race relations. She was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, the first African American woman to be so honored. Judges hailed her as one “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

A student of William Faulkner's works, Morrison was the rare writer who could create mythic stories of the American experience through vivid imagery and poignant language. Morrison received the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for "Beloved" and was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2012. 

The Morrison family issued this statement via Morrison's publisher: “It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends. She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing. Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life."

In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government's highest honor for achievement in the humanities. She was honored with the 1996 National Book Foundation's Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Morrison wrote the libretto for a new opera, Margaret Garner, first performed in 2005. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.

Morrison's work focused on African American life and culture, and she dominated an industry in which depictions of black life were often limited and rooted in stereotype.Morrison was one of the most iconic writers of her time, excelling as a novelist, essayist, editor, and short story writer.

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