Toni Morrison

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Morrison, Toni,

1931–, American writer, b. Lorain, Ohio, as Chloe Ardelia (later Anthony) Wofford; grad. Howard Univ. (B.A., 1953), Cornell (M.F.A., 1955). Her fiction is noted for its poetic language, lush detail, emotional intensity, and sensitive observation of American life as viewed from a variety of African-American perspectives. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), is the story of a girl ruined by a racist society and its violence. Song of Solomon (1977; National Book Award) established her as one of America's leading novelists. It concerns a middle-class man who achieves self-knowledge through the discovery of his rural black heritage. Her later fiction includes Beloved (1987; Pulitzer Prize), a powerful account of mother love, murder, and the legacy of slavery; and Jazz (1992), a tale of love and murder set in Harlem in the 1920s. Her other novels are Sula (1973), Tar Baby (1981), Paradise (1997), Love (2003), A Mercy (2008), Home (2012), and God Help the Child (2015).

Among Morrison's other works are the essay collections Race-ing Justice, En-Gendering Power (1992), Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (1992), and The Origin of Others (2017), essays on race, belonging, and literature based on her Harvard Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (2016). She has also created several children's books, including The Big Box (2000), written with her son, Slade; a play, Dreaming Emmett (1986); a song cycle, Honey and Me (1992), written with André Previn;Previn, Sir André
, 1929–2019, American conductor, composer, and pianist, b. Germany, as Andreas Ludwig Priwin. A classical music recording artist from 1946, he also made a number of highly successful jazz piano albums in the 1950s, and later (1990s) resumed
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 an opera libretto, Margaret Garner (2003); and, in collaboration with Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré, Desdemona (2011), a reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Othello. Awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, she was the first African American to win. Morrison, who was an influential Random House editor for nearly two decades, has been a professor at Princeton since 1989 and founded (1994) the Princeton Atelier, a writers' and performers' workshop.


See D. Taylor-Guthrie, ed., Conversations with Toni Morrison (1994) and C. Y. Denard, ed., Toni Morrison: Conversations (2008); studies by B. W. Jones (1985), A. I. Vinson (1985), N. Y. McKay, ed. (1988), H. Bloom (1990, repr. 2005), H. L. Gates, Jr., and K. A. Appiah, ed. (1993), P. Page (1995), N. J. Peterson, ed. (1997), L. Peach (1995 and, as ed., 1998), D. L. Middleton, ed. (2000), S. A. Stave, ed. (2006), J. L. Carlacio (2007), S. N. Mayberry (2007), J. L. J. Heinert (2008), L. V. D. Jennings (2008), R. Lister (2009), and K. Zauditu-Selassie (2009).

Morrison, Toni (b. Chloe Anthony Wofford)

(1931–  ) writer, editor; born in Lorain, Ohio. She studied at Howard University (B.A. 1953) and Cornell (M.A. 1955). She taught English at Texas Southern University (1955–57) and at Howard (1957–64); later she would teach at the State University of New York: Purchase (1971–72) and Albany (1984–89), and at Princeton (1989). She married Harold Morrison (1958) and was divorced in 1964. In 1965 she became a senior editor for Random House in New York City. Her novels, which capture the deep passions and rhythms of African-American life, include Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), and Beloved (1987); the last named won the Pulitzer Prize (1988). Recognized as a major American novelist, respected by critics and readers alike, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993.
References in periodicals archive ?
Toni Morrison Papers (C1491), Princeton University Library.
The book attests to Morrison's literary legacy in (African) American literature but since much of it has been devoted to the acclaimed trilogy -as Justine Tally's Toni Morrison's 'Beloved': Origins: Possible Worlds and Paradise Reconsidered alongside her edition of The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison confirms, it would have been of greater interest to bring to the fore more insights on and readings of the latest contributions that Morrison has added to the literary scenario.
In her book Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, Toni Morrison (1992) discusses ways in which the "Africanist" presence in United States fiction calls for a reinterpretation of the literary canon.
In "Site of Memory," Toni Morrison explicitly describes the project of writing Beloved as one of fictional reconstruction or "literary archeology" (112), of imagining the inner life of the slave woman Margaret Garner, her source for Sethe.
I regret having called myself Toni Morrison when I published my first novel, The Bluest Eye.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (Vintage, pounds 5.
Merry Christmas to James Carroll and Joseph Roccasalvo, Catholic novelists, and catholic novelists Lawrence Thornton, Toni Morrison, Frederick Buechner, Anne Michael, and John Irving (thanks for your gifts of books); to Salman Rushdie and his new lease on life; to all who have read the 100 books on the Modern Library's list of top English-language novels of the century; to poet Maya Angelou.
Cross-Cultural Performances seeks to correct this partiality by offering essays "on women whose response to Shakespeare is cross-cultural not just in terms of time but also in terms of race and relation to colonialism" (2), women like Gloria Naylor and Toni Morrison, and other essays that explore the "[r]esponses of women of the theatre to Shakespeare," a "complex history, which includes accommodation, confrontation and appropriation, opposition to Shakespeare and oppositional use of him" (7).
In the '70s, with the publication of her novels Corregidora (the story of Ursa, a blues singer who owes her birth to a series of violent rapes) and Eva's Man, (about a woman's psychological and physical imprisonment in a hospital for the criminally insane), Gayl Jones, discovered and edited by Toni Morrison, was both hailed as a new voice in fiction and condemned for her raw language and sexual violence.
Aimed at readers in grades nine and up, this companion to the works of writer Toni Morrison looks at her life and writing, with analyses of her major works (novels, children's books, nonfiction, essays, interviews, and speeches, and cinematic, poetic, musical, theatrical, and dance productions), along with entries on related topics, people, places, and influences.