Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; 18 February 1931) is an American author, editor and university professor with a long and distinguished career. A list of her best known books includes: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, Sula, and Beloved
Before Toni was born, her parents (Ramah [née Willis] and George Wofford) moved from the south to Lorain, Ohio so their children wouldn't have to grow up suffering from southern racism. Growing up in the Great Depression, Toni and her siblings knew they were poor, but their parents instilled in them a sense of dignity and of the value of working hard and always doing one's best, so they never felt their was any shame in poverty.
From an early age, Toni was a voracious reader, devouring any books that came into the house. She recalls that her favorite authors in childhood were Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy.
In 1953, Toni graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in English, and in 1955 with an M.A. from Cornell. At Howard, she met and married (1958) the Jamaican architect Harold Morrison. Six years later, after having two children together, the couple divorced.
It was also while she was at Howard, that Morrison began writing fiction seriously. A short story she wrote at the time about a young Black girl who longed to have blue eyes later became her first (1970) novel The Bluest Eye.
Sula, published in 1973, was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1977, Morrison's third novel, Song of Solomon, was a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection, bringing her national attention. In 1988, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the American Book Award. Five years later, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
To find out more about Ms. Morrison's life and works you can click on any one of the links below:
Image of Toni Morrison Above: derivative work: Entheta (talk) Toni_Morrison_2008.jpg: Angela Radulescu - Toni_Morrison_2008.jpg
Toni Morrison speaking at "A Tribute to Chinua Achebe - 50 Years Anniversary of 'Things Fall Apart'". The Town Hall, New York City, February 26th, 2008.