"...who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."
-- The Nobel Foundation
In 1993, Toni Morrison became the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Well before that, people were taking notice of her work. She has also won the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award. In 1980, then-President Jimmy Carter appointed Morrison to the National Council on the Arts. She was also appointed as the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of Humanities at Princeton University.
Born in Ohio in 1931, Morrison often deals with issues of race and the black experience in her novels. She earned a Master's degree in English from Cornell University and later taught at Texas Southern University and Howard University. Her first novel, "The Bluest Eye" was published in 1970. Morrison won a Pulitzer Prize for "Beloved," regarded by many as her greatest novel. Morrison was married to Harold Morrison from 1958 to 1964, when the couple divorced, and has two sons - Harold and Slade.
Read a biography of Morrison that highlights her major achievements.
Anniina's Toni Morrison Page
A wonderful place to start any search for Toni Morrison information online. It contains an overview of each of her books from Amazon.com and links to additional resources, reviews and essays. The site also links out to biographies, bibliographies and interviews.
The Nobel Prize "As the motivation for the award implies, Toni Morrison is a literary artist of the first rank," the Nobel Foundation says in their recognition of her work. "She delves into the language itself, a language she wants to liberate from the fetters of race. And she addresses us with the luster of poetry." Check out Morrison's acceptance speech.
The Toni Morrison Society.
Founded in 1993, this Web site is an official author society of the American Literature Association.
The society's mission is to initiate, sponsor and encourage critical dialog, scholarship, publications, conferences and other projects dedicated to the study of the life and works of Toni Morrison.
Interview: A Mercy(2008)
In this article in The Guardian, Morrison discusses her 9th novel "A Mercy" (2008), which grapples with what lies beneath the surface of slavery in early America. The work was listed as one of the 10 Best Books of 2008 by The New York Times Book Review.