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Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison passes away

Nobel laureate Toni Morrison passes away
Nobel laureate Toni Morrison passes away

Prominent novelist Toni Morrison passed away on Monday night at the age of 88. The first African-American woman Nobel Laureate in literature

Toni Morrison leaves behind a plethora of rich literature that chronicled the lived realities of African-Americans.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author sealed her place in American literature with her works, which chronicled the racial demonization and brutality that African-Americans endured.

Morrison left an indelible mark on her readers with her 11 novels and nine non-fiction works along with five children’s books and two short stories and plays. “Those books were not written for a little black girl in Lorain, Ohio,” Morrison revealed in an interview, adding, “They were so magnificently done that I got them anyway — they spoke directly to me out of their own specificity.”

In January 1988, 48 black authors and critics, wrote to the Pulitzer Committee, expressing their discontent with the lack of attention towards Morrison’s writing and noted how prominent author James Baldwin had passed away without ever winning a Pulitzer. The impact of the letter was significant and Morrison received a Pulitzer in the same year for her ground-breaking novel Beloved. A year later, Morrison received an honorary degree from Harvard. Following the publication of Jazz, Morrison won the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Morrison’s position in the literary world was further augmented former US President Barack Obama, who awarded her a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. Obama expressed his sadness over Morrison’s demise and tweeted, “Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while.”

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