Toni Morrison, American novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University

“If you can't count, they can cheat you. If you can't read, they can beat you.”

Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931) is an American novelist, editor, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), and Beloved (1987).

  • Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for “Beloved,” which was adapted into a film of the same name (starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover) in 1998.
  • Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.
  • 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 was commissioned to write the libretto for a new opera, Margaret Garner, first performed in 2005.
  • On May 29, 2012, Morrison received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016 Morrison received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.

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