Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 - August 05, 2019)
Born: 18th February, 1931
Died: 5th August, 2019
Nationality: American
Profession/Occupation: Novelist
Region: Lorain, Ohio, New York City, New York
Notable works: "Beloved", "The Bluest Eye", "Sula", "Home", "Jazz", "Please, Louise", "The Book About Mean People", "The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations", "Love", "Paradise"

Toni Morrison Facts

Biography

Toni Morrison, original name Chloe Anthony Wofford, (born February 18, 1931, Lorain, Ohio, U.S.--died August 5, 2019, Bronx, New York), American writer noted for her examination of black experience (particularly black female experience) within the black community. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Morrison grew up in the American Midwest in a family that possessed an intense love of and appreciation for black culture. Storytelling, songs, and folktales were a deeply formative part of her childhood. She attended Howard University (B.A., 1953) and Cornell University (M.A., 1955). After teaching at Texas Southern University for two years, she taught at Howard from 1957 to 1964. In 1965 Morrison became a fiction editor at Random House, where she worked for a number of years. In 1984 she began teaching writing at the State University of New York at Albany, which she left in 1989 to join the faculty of Princeton University; she retired in 2006.

Morrison's first book, The Bluest Eye (1970), is a novel of initiation concerning a victimized adolescent black girl who is obsessed by white standards of beauty and longs to have blue eyes. In 1973 a second novel, Sula, was published; it examines (among other issues) the dynamics of friendship and the expectations for conformity within the community. Song of Solomon (1977) is told by a male narrator in search of his identity; its publication brought Morrison to national attention. Tar Baby (1981), set on a Caribbean island, explores conflicts of race, class, and sex.

The critically acclaimed Beloved (1987), which won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is based on the true story of a runaway slave who, at the point of recapture, kills her infant daughter in order to spare her a life of slavery. A film adaptation of the novel was released in 1998 and starred Oprah Winfrey. In addition, Morrison wrote the libretto for Margaret Garner (2005), an opera about the same story that inspired Beloved.

In 1992 Morrison released Jazz, a story of violence and passion set in New York City's Harlem during the 1920s. Subsequent novels were Paradise (1998), a richly detailed portrait of a black utopian community in Oklahoma, and Love (2003), an intricate family story that reveals the myriad facets of love and its ostensible opposite. A Mercy (2008) deals with slavery in 17th-century America. In the redemptive Home (2012), a traumatized Korean War veteran encounters racism after returning home and later overcomes apathy to rescue his sister. In God Help the Child (2015), Morrison chronicled the ramifications of child abuse and neglect through the tale of Bride, a black girl with dark skin who is born to light-skinned parents.

A work of criticism, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, was published in 1992. Many of Morrison's essays and speeches were collected in What Moves at the Margin: Selected Nonfiction (2008; edited by Carolyn C. Denard) and The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations (2019). She and her son, Slade Morrison, cowrote a number of children's books, including the Who's Got Game? series, The Book About Mean People (2002), and Please, Louise (2014). She also penned Remember (2004), which chronicles the hardships of black students during the integration of the American public school system; aimed at children, it uses archival photographs juxtaposed with captions speculating on the thoughts of their subjects. For that work, Morrison won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2005.

The central theme of Morrison's novels is the black American experience; in an unjust society, her characters struggle to find themselves and their cultural identity. Her use of fantasy, her sinuous poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic gave her stories great strength and texture. In 2010 Morrison was made an officer of the French Legion of Honour. Two years later she was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (2019) is a documentary about her life and career.

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Top 51 Toni Morrison quotes

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
Been
Book
Must
Read
Really
Then
Want
Write
Written
You
We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.
Die
Language
Life
Lives
May
Meaning
Meaning of
Meaning of life
Measure
Our
Our lives
She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.
Am
Back
Friend
Gather
Give
Good
Got
I am
Know
Man
Me
Mind
Pieces
Right
There is really nothing more to say-except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.
Difficult
Handle
How
More
Must
Nothing
Really
Refuge
Since
Take
Why
If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.
Air
Could
Ride
You
When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the same.
No words
Pain
Same
Words
The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.
Ability
Familiar
Imagine
Power
Self
Strange
Test
Writers
If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.
Chain
Confined
Down
End
Going
Hold
Other
Own
Repression
Someone
You
Your
All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.
Back
Forever
Get
Memory
Perfect
Trying
Water
Where
A lot of black people believe that Jews in this country have become white. They behave like white people rather than Jewish people.
Become
Behave
Believe
Black
Country
Jewish
Jewish people
Jews
Like
Lot
People
Rather
Than
White
Black boys became criminalized. I was in constant dread for their lives, because they were targets everywhere. They still are.
Became
Because
Black
Boy
Constant
Dread
Everywhere
Lives
Still
Targets
Were
Black literature is taught as sociology, as tolerance, not as a serious, rigorous art form.
Art
Art form
Black
Form
Literature
Rigorous
Serious
Sociology
Taught
Tolerance
Black people are victims of an enormous amount of violence. None of those things can take place without the complicity of the people who run the schools and the city.
Amount
Black
City
Complicity
Enormous
None
People
Place
Run
Schools
Take
Things
Those
Victims
Black people have always been used as a buffer in this country between powers to prevent class war.
Always
Been
Between
Black
Class
Country
People
Powers
Prevent
Used
War
Everybody gets everything handed to them. The rich inherit it. I don't mean just inheritance of money. I mean what people take for granted among the middle and upper classes, which is nepotism, the old-boy network.
Among
Classes
Everybody
Everything
Gets
Granted
Handed
Inherit
Inheritance
Just
Mean
Middle
Money
Nepotism
Everything I've ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it.
Been
Close
Done
Ever
Everything
Expand
Has-been
Rather
Than
World
Writing
For a long time I was convinced that the conflict between Jewish people and black people in this country was a media event.
Between
Black
Conflict
Convinced
Country
Event
Jewish
Jewish people
Long
Long time
Media
People
Time
I always looked upon the acts of racist exclusion, or insult, as pitiable, from the other person. I never absorbed that. I always thought that there was something deficient about such people.
About
Absorb
Acts
Always
Deficient
Exclusion
Insult
Looked
Never
Other
People
Person
Something
Thought
I don't think a female running a house is a problem, a broken family. It's perceived as one because of the notion that a head is a man.
Because
Broken
Family
Female
Head
House
Man
Notion
Perceived
Problem
Running
Think
I don't think anybody cares about unwed mothers unless they're black or poor. The question is not morality, the question is money. That's what we're upset about.
About
Anybody
Black
Cares
Money
Morality
Mothers
Poor
Question
Think
Unless
Upset
I get angry about things, then go on and work.
About
Angry
Get
Go
Then
Things
Work
I like marriage. The idea.
Idea
Like
Marriage
I merged those two words, black and feminist, because I was surrounded by black women who were very tough and and who always assumed they had to work and rear children and manage homes.
Always
Assumed
Because
Black
Children
Feminist
Had
Homes
Manage
Rear
Surrounded
Those
Tough
Two
I think some aspects of writing can be taught. Obviously, you can't teach vision or talent. But you can help with comfort.
Aspects
Comfort
Help
I think
Obviously
Some
Talent
Taught
Teach
Think
Vision
Writing
You
I would solve a lot of literary problems just thinking about a character in the subway, where you can't do anything anyway.
About
Anything
Anyway
Character
Just
Literary
Lot
Problems
Solve
Subway
Thinking
Where
Would
You
I'm always annoyed about why black people have to bear the brunt of everybody else's contempt. If we are not totally understanding and smiling, suddenly we're demons.
About
Always
Annoyed
Bear
Black
Brunt
Contempt
Demons
Else
Everybody
People
Smiling
Suddenly
Totally
I'm not entangled in shaping my work according to other people's views of how I should have done it.
According
Done
How
Other
People
Shaping
Should
Views
Work
In becoming an American, from Europe, what one has in common with that other immigrant is contempt for me-it's nothing else but color.
American
Becoming
Color
Common
Contempt
Else
Europe
Immigrant
Nothing
Other
It's been mentioned or suggested that Paradise will not be well studied, because it's about this unimportant intellectual topic, which is religion.
About
Because
Been
Intellectual
Mentioned
Paradise
Religion
Studied
Suggested
Topic
Unimportant
Well
Which
Will
Make a difference about something other than yourselves.
About
Difference
Make
Make a difference
Other
Something
Than
My children are delightful people, whom I would love even if they weren't my children.
Children
Delightful
Even
Love
People
Were
Whom
Would
Nelson Mandela is, for me, the single statesman in the world. The single statesman, in that literal sense, who is not solving all his problems with guns. It's truly unbelievable.
Guns
His
Literal
Mandela
Me
Nelson
Nelson mandela
Problems
Sense
Single
Solving
Statesman
Truly
Unbelievable
No one ever talks about the moment you found that you were white. Or the moment you found out you were black. That's a profound revelation. The minute you find that out, something happens. You have to renegotiate everything.
About
Black
Ever
Everything
Find
Found
Happens
Minute
Moment
No-one
Out
Profound
Revelation
Something
One of my kids was born in 1968. There were going to be political difficulties, but they were never going to have that level of hatred and contempt that my brothers and my sister and myself were exposed to.
Born
Brothers
Contempt
Difficulties
Exposed
Going
Hatred
Kids
Level
Myself
Never
Political
Sister
Were
Schools must stop being holding pens to keep energetic young people off the job market and off the streets. We stretch puberty out a long, long time.
Being
Energetic
Holding
Job
Keep
Long
Long time
Market
Must
Off
Out
Pens
People
Puberty
Some Native American writers enjoy being called Native American writers.
American
American writers
Being
Enjoy
Native
Native american
Some
Writers
Somebody has to take responsibility for being a leader.
Being
Being a leader
Leader
Responsibility
Somebody
Take
The body is ready to have babies. Nature wants it done then, when the body can handle it, not after 40, when the income can handle it.
After
Babies
Body
Done
Handle
Income
Nature
Ready
Then
Wants
The unflattering reviews are painful for short periods of time; the badly written ones are deeply, deeply insulting. That reviewer took no time to really read the book.
Badly
Book
Deeply
Insulting
No time
Painful
Periods
Read
Really
Reviewer
Reviews
Short
Short periods
Time
There is nothing of any consequence in education, in the economy, in city planning, in social policy that does not concern black people.
Any
Black
City
Concern
Consequence
Does
Economy
Education
Nothing
People
Planning
Social
Social policy
You need a whole community to raise a child. I have raised two children, alone.
Alone
Child
Children
Community
Need
Raise
Raised
Two
Whole
You
Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.
Love
Love is
Thin
I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.
Because
First
Novel
Read
Wanted
Wrote
As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.
Before
Dream
Enter
Little
Positions
Power
Think
Trust
You
If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it.
Been
Book
Must
Read
Want
Write
Written
You
You marvel at the economy and this choice of words. How many ways can you describe the sky and the moon? After Sylvia Plath, what can you say?
After
Choice
Describe
Economy
How
Many
Marvel
Moon
Say
Sky
Ways
Words
You
Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
Another
Claiming
Freed
Freeing
One thing
Ownership
Self
Thing
Yourself
Women's rights is not only an abstraction, a cause; it is also a personal affair. It is not only about us; it is also about me and you. Just the two of us.
About
Abstraction
Affair
Also
Cause
Just
Me
Only
Personal
Rights
Two
Us
Women
You
In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.
American
Country
Else
Everybody
Everybody else
Means
White
Everywhere, everywhere, children are the scorned people of the earth.
Children
Earth
Everywhere
People
Scorned

Toni Morrison essays

Read more informative topics on our blog
Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl Essay
Any book report is an excellent way to show readers how well you understand a particular book and share your opinion. As a student, you may need to write the best Incidents in the life of a slave girl essay . Keep in mind that it’s all about an inspiring story about the life of one slave woman. Harriet Jacobs presents herself not only as a slave, but also as a mother, and this is how she informs readers that she desired more freedom. She describes different life events to explain how she deals with this struggle. When writing your essay about this book, make sure you plan everything in advance, pick an interesting..
Song Of Solomon
Personal freedom is referred to as the aptitude to disregard familial and societal affects in order to find the actual sense of self. People are enlightened and liberated truly when they are emotionally, spiritually, in physical form free. The sense of self is also referred to as the enlightenment every individual possesses when they psychologically admit and realize their true limitations and qualities. The attainment of personal freedom however is not really a very simple affair. It might even be considered a lifelong voyage that is demanding and tiresome with setbacks and obstructions..
Sula A Point of view On Redefining Social Conformities English Books Essay
In Toni Morrison's book Sula, many heroes fall victim to determining themselves according from what culture dictates that they should be. The ladies in this book are expected to experiment with the part of submissive partner, mother, and homemaker and also to find identification and personal fulfillment through these exact things. There is one figure in the written text, however, who rebels against public norms and selects to check out her own path. This character is Sula, a woman who gradually rejects sociable conformity in trade for the possibility to develop herself into the person that..
The review of racism in literature
In the tragic novel, The Bluest Eyesight by Toni Morrison, Pecola Breedlove, an eleven-year-old dark-colored young lady is a victim of racial, dislike herself and rape by her father which results in being pregnant. Pecola matures within an abusive and unloving family. She longs to fade away from the facial skin of the planet earth to rid her of her problems. Writers often spotlight the values of your culture or a contemporary society by using people who are alienated from that culture. In the tragic story, The Bluest Eyeball, the writer shows existing communal problems throughout the storyline...
Why Should A Student Go to An Hbcu Essays
Why exactly should a student attend an HBCU, some might ask. Individuals considering participating in college will need to attend an HBCU regardless of what their race or ethnicity may be. Many people think HBCUs are only African American schools due to the actual acronym stands for, Historically Black Colleges and Universities. According to CollegeXpress, "HBCUs perform primarily provide African American college students, but that doesn't mean you're gonna have a limited cultural knowledge. On the contrary, people from across the world come to the United States to attend..
The Sound As well as the Fury Simply by William Faulkner Essay
The writer of The Nicely the Bear, William Faulkner is considered to be one of the biggest and most influential modernist copy writers of the 20th century. Requirements and the Rage happens to be among his the majority of critiqued and studied bits. Most documents written about the book give attention to either the ideas the fact that mother can be egotistical, frosty, selfish or perhaps that the little girl retrogressive, contaminated, and soiled. Faulkner blames the decay of the family unit around the daughter Caddy's virginity and the loss of her purity. William Faulkner discretely..
Testing Relationships in Syvai by Toni Morrison Article
Every individual's a lot more shaped by simply personal human relationships that they have with others. Whether there are issues in the companionship or certainly not, the person's life is changed in some way. In Sula simply by Toni Morrison, friendships happen to be put to test. Single mother-child relationships and also other friendships have got hardships that they can must conquer. Friendships between women the moment unmediated by simply men within a mother and child romantic relationship create hard decision-makings and ways of your life, yet relationships between close..
Observe Father He is Big and Strong
Has anyone ever deliberately remaining you? Left you only, feeling deserted, isolated, through yourself? Picture you were abandoned by those who were supposed to appreciate you in the day you were born until this present day. Just how would which will make you feel? In Toni Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, the girl examines the complexities, effects, and consequences of abandonment through one figure, Cholly Breedlove. As well as the techniques he ultimately destroys him self and also these around him.Even before his labor and birth, Cholly Breedlove has sensed the vicious sting..
Morrison's Take on Gender inside the Black Community Between 1919 and 1965 Essay
Inside the novel "Sula", Toni Morrison presents a really different view on gender inside the black community between 1919 and 65. Written in 1973 following the Civil Rights movement and during the feminist movement, Morison breaks down the conventional gender limitations from as soon as 1919, demonstrating that dark females were "women" very much sooner than their particular white "lady" counterparts. Morrison depicts matriarchal homes in which the women are definitely the dominant characters who possibly go as far as to emasculate their man opposites...
Search for Perfection in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eyesight Essay
Search for a Perfection in The Bluest EyeThe concept of physical magnificence and prefer to conform to a prescribed definition of what is deemed beautiful may destroy someone's life. In Toni Morrison's novel, The Bluest Eye, many heroes are captivated with attaining the idealist definition of what is regarded as beautiful. The characters of Geraldine, Pauline, and Pecola all believe physical excellence leads to acceptance; however , is it doesn't same idea that causes their particular personal downsides and helps prevent them coming from recognizing their particular..
Discovering Race And The Stigma And Stereotypes Connected with Different Skin Colors
The thought of race and the stigma and stereotypes associated with different pores and skin colors had been a constant in our society. From your country's beginning, race have been deeply engrained into our culture—the most significant example being slavery—and has been the main source of conflict among people. The contest issue in America has been illuminated in recent years both intellectually and physically; bits of literature have already been created that explore the repercussions of race in society plus the historical effects situations, and events have got sparked interest..
Essay about Contouring to Beauty in The Bluest Eye
Black Gap SunThe characters inside the Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, all attempt to conform to a standard of beauty in some manner. This standard of natural beauty is established by society in which they live, and then maintained members in the community. Beauty is also associated with respect and happiness. Both equally people who reach the standard of beauty, and others who make an effort, are never really satisfied with who they are. This never-ending race to be beautiful provides devastating results on their associations and their own self-esteem. Geraldine, a respected woman moving into..
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