Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Toni Morrison Passes Away At 88

Toni Morrison (image via Flickr/John Matthew Smith)

From the New York Times:

Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel laureate in literature, whose work explored black identity in America and in particular the experience of black women, died on Monday in the Bronx. She was 88.

Her death, at Montefiore Medical Center, was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. A spokeswoman said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Ms. Morrison lived in Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y.

The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Ms. Morrison was the author of 11 novels as well as children’s books and essay collections. Among them were celebrated works like “Song of Solomon,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and “Beloved,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Ms. Morrison was one of the rare American authors whose books were both critical and commercial successes. Her novels appeared regularly on The New York Times best-seller list, were featured multiple times on Oprah Winfrey’s television book club and were the subject of myriad critical studies. A longtime faculty member at Princeton, Ms. Morrison lectured widely and was seen often on television.

“If you can only be tall because someone is on their knees, then you have a serious problem.”

“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”

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