| By Laura Avery |
Toni Morrison is one of the most highly respected authors in contemporary American literature. Beginning with the publication of her first novel, The Bluest Eye, Morrison earned increasing critical and popular acclaim. Her novels highlight the struggles of black people to rediscover and maintain connections to their cultural history and to their ancestors. Through her writings, Morrison helped revise the white, male-dominated literary canon.
Known for other novels such as Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, Jazz, and Home, Morrison also wrote children’s books, plays, an opera, and a song cycle. In 1988, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, which brought her national recognition. Five years later, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, making history as the first black person and only the eighth woman to earn the honor.
With her death at the age of 88 on August 5, 2019, the world lost an important author who helped shine a light on African American life and culture. You can read more about Toni Morrison and other writers in Gale In Context: Biography.
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You can also find Toni Morrison’s writings in Gale’s LitFinder.