Toni Morrison is one of the most prominent authors in world literature, having won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 for her collected works. Several of her novels have taken their place in the canon of American literature, including The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Song of Solomon. She received the National Book Critics Award in 1977 for Song of Solomon and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved. Morrison’s writings are notable for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters.
Appointed Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University in 1989, she has also been named the Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the highest honor given by the United States for achievement in the humanities. In May 2012, she was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Barack Obama.
Her other novels, Sula, Tar Baby, and Jazz, have also received extensive critical acclaim. Her most recent novel, Home, published in May 2012, explores racism in post-Korean War America. Her books of essays include Playing in the Dark and Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality.
When asked who she writes for, Toni Morrison replied, “I want to write for people like me, which is to say black people, curious people, demanding people – people who can’t be faked, people who don’t need to be patronized, people who have very, very high criteria.”
An Evening with Toni Morrison