08.06.2019

Toni Morrison, Seminal Author Who Stirringly Chronicled the Black American Experience, Dies at 88

Toni Morrison, Seminal Author Who Stirringly Chronicled the Black American Experience, Dies at 88 Ramin Talaie—Corbis via Getty Images

Toni Morrison, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author who illuminated the joys and agonies of black American life through breathtakingly vital works like Beloved, Song of Solomon and A Mercy, died on Monday night, her publisher Knopf confirmed. She was 88 years old.

Over her six-decade career, she wrote 11 novels, five children’s books, two plays, a song cycle and an opera. She served as an editor and professor, mentoring generations of young writers of color. After being largely ignored as a writer for a decade in the ‘70s, Morrison went on to win accolade after accolade, from the Nobel Prize in Literature to the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.

Morrison widened the nation’s literary canon, serving as its conscience through trying times and establishing herself as the keeper of its marginalized histories. Through her inventive turns of phrase, graceful incorporation of African-American vernacular, textured character portraits, sharp historical gaze and tragic plot turns, she is one of the most accomplished and impactful writers in the history of American literature.

“What was driving me to write was the silence — so many stories untold and unexamined,” she told The New Yorker in 2003.

For the full story, visit Time.com.