Prolific writer and Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison has died at age 88.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and professor died the evening of August 5 at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center. Since the 1970s, she published 11 novels, two plays, and five children’s books, including “the Bluest Eye,” “A Mercy,” and “Song of Soloman.” “Beloved,” a Pulitzer-winning novel about a Black woman slave, was portrayed in a 1998 film starring Oprah Winfrey.
“What was driving me to write was the silence—so many stories untold and unexamined,” she told The New Yorker in 2003.
Morrison graduated from Howard University and first worked as an editor, while raising two children, Harold and Slade. Her work has been lauded for expressing truths about the historic and contemporary Black experience in America. In 1993, Morrison became the first Black woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Swedish Academy characterized her as a “visionary force” who gave “life to an essential aspect of American reality.”
In 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom— which is the highest civilian honor one can receive in the United States. In 2019, she was also featured in the acclaimed documentary “The Pieces I Am.”