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Author Toni Morrison has died

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/06/19, 01:08 pm

Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, an author whose novels explored the experiences of African American women throughout U.S. history, has died after a brief illness. She was 88.

What is Morrison’s legacy? As an editor at Random House in the 1960s and ’70s, she championed black authors and immersed herself in African literary tradition. She published her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 1970, and went on to write bestsellers such as Sula and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1988. The violent and sexually graphic content of her works divided readers and sparked debates among English teachers and school librarians, but she still won the admiration of celebrities and politicians. She defended President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, calling him the nation’s first black president. Oprah Winfrey chose many of Morrison’s works for her book club, and President Barack Obama awarded her the presidential medal of freedom.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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