Acclaimed novelist, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison dies at 88
NEW YORK - Toni Morrison, the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died following a brief illness, her family said in a statement Tuesday. She was 88.
"It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends," they said.
"Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life," the statement added, describing her as "the consummate writer who treasured the written word."
Morrison wrote 11 novels, many of them touching on life as a black American, in a glittering literary and award-laden career that lasted over six decades.
She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for her 1987 novel Beloved. Set after the American Civil War in the 1860s, the story centred on a slave who escaped Kentucky to the free state of Ohio.
Morrison received numerous other accolades including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.
In 1996, she was honoured with the National Book Foundation's Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
In 2012 then-President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 2016 she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction.
Tributes quickly poured in for her on Tuesday.
"She was a great woman and a great writer, and I don't know which I will miss more," Robert Gottlieb, Morrison's longtime editor at Knopf publishers, said in a statement sent to AFP.
We are profoundly sad to report that Toni Morrison has died at the age of eighty-eight.— Alfred A. Knopf (@AAKnopf) August 6, 2019
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019 pic.twitter.com/DWnElCpMKc
Sonny Mehta, chairman of Knopf, said he could "think of few writers in American letters who wrote with more humanity or with more love for language than Toni."
"Her narratives and mesmerizing prose have made an indelible mark on our culture. Her novels command and demand our attention. They are canonical works, and more importantly, they are books that remain beloved by readers," he said.
Morrison was born in Ohio on February 18, 1931. The Bluest Eye, her first novel, was published in 1970. She followed up with Sula in 1973, going on to publish another nine novels.
She also spent time as an editor at Random House and taught at Princeton University.
Morrison died at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York on Monday.
This article first appeared on EWN : Acclaimed novelist, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison dies at 88
EWN UK correspondent Gavin Grey explains what will happen now that the British MPs rejected the prime minister's timetable.Read More
Baffled by the rules surrounding the movement of children into and out of SA? Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi explains.Read More
The leaf can produce gas that has the potential to become a sustainable alternative to petrol. A Cambridge professor explains.Read More
Surveillance video released on Friday from Parkrose High School in Oregon the coach hugging the 18-year-old after taking the gun away.Read More
Excitement's running high at the quarterfinal clash between the Springboks and hosts Japan in Tokyo.Read More
Photographer Johnny Miller discusses the impact of his moving work and how he captures his eye-opening images.Read More
EWN's UK correspondent Gavin Grey gives details on the latest developments around Brexit.Read More
John Maytham asks what's behind Volkswagen's new-look logo...Read More
Cape Town will host a major global conference on climate change at the start of 2020. Event's organiser explains what to expect.Read More
Mozambique News Agency English editor Paul Fauvet says most polling stations in Mozambique opened on time.Read More
Thirty years ago, it was stinky and derelict. Today, it employs 23 000 people and ranks among Africa’s most visited places.Read More
Cape Town-based medical doctor and author Dr Dawn Garisch describes the metaphors at the heart of her latest written offering.Read More
Checkers is getting "better and better", says branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.Read More
Gail Gilbride shares an update on her chemo journey and how she conquered aggressive treatment she thought she'd never get through.Read More
Julia Roberts, Kendrick Lamar, and Ed Sheeran are some of the celebrities who have suffered from this type of speech disorder.Read More
Breast cancer survivor Helena Vivier says cancer is diagnosis which requires people to be brave. She shares her inspiring story.Read More
Black Business Council president Sandile Zungu on his attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).Read More
People who suffer from hay fever allergies and asthma have been warned to brace themselves for a tough pollen season.Read More
Portfolio Manager Byron Lotter shares his stock picks of the week with Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show.Read More
Ethienne Reynecke had a stroke over a year ago, and he describes the signs and symptoms he experienced and his road to recovery.Read More