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Toni Morrison

Known for her epic themes...

18/02/1931 -

Toni Morrison biography and information

Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford) is an American novelist, editor and professor. Her novels are known for her epic themes, vivid dialogue and richly detailed characters. Among her best known novels are Sula and Song of Solomon.

Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio, to Ramah and George Wofford. She is the second of four children. As a child, Morrison read fervently and among her favourite authors were Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy. Morrison's father told her numerous folktales of the black community, which influenced her writing and worked its way into Morrison's novels. In 1949, Morrison entered Howard University, where she received a B.A. in English in 1953. After graduation, Morrison became an English instructor at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. She was a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.

Morrison began writing fiction as part of an informal group of poets and writers at Howard who met to discuss their work. She went to one meeting with a short story about a black girl who wanted to have blue eyes. She later developed the story into her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). Her second book, Sula, was published in 1973. Her third novel, Song of Solomon (1977) brought her to national attention. The book was a main selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Morrison's novel Beloved became a critical success, and when it did not win the National Book Award, 48 black critics and writers protested. Beloved was adapted in the 1988 film of the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She is currently the last American to have been awarded the honour.

Book and writing awards

Among Morrison's most prestigious awards are the Nobel Prize for Literature (1993), Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Beloved, 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Humanities Medal in 2000.

Similar authors to Toni Morrison

Margaret AtwoodSalman Rushdie and Maya Angelou.

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Books by Toni Morrison

Beloved
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Race
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The Bluest Eye
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Paradise
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God Help the Child
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Beloved
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Song Of Solomon
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Sula
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Home
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Jazz
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A Mercy
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Beloved
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Love
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The Origin of Others
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Tar Baby
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Desdemona
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Playing in the Dark
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Song Of Solomon
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We're talking about...

Joseph Anton, we presume...

Posted on 5th Oct, 2012

We were so pleased to meet Salman Rushdie when he joined us in out book tent at Imperial Square today. After his sell-out event, he signed copies of his autobiography Joseph Anton and even found time to have his photo taken with our team of booksellers.