Today In History: Toni Morrison


Today in History–August 5–the Primary Source Nexus features Toni Morrison, who died at the age of 88 on this date in 2019. Her novel Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 and Morrison was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in literature for “novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, [giving] life to an essential aspect of American reality.” In 2000, the Library of Congress named her a Living Legend; in 2011, it awarded her the Library of Congress National Book Festival Creative Achievement Award (now renamed the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction). Click the links below to learn more about this beloved wordsmith.

Toni Morrison brief bio

Remembering Toni Morrison Library of Congress Blog

Books that Shaped America: Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)

Toni Morrison timeline and bibliography The Toni Morrison Society

The Day and Its Splendid Parts 1973 essay by Toni Morrison republished on ArtsBeat New York Times Blog on March 27, 2008

On to Disneyland and Real Unreality 1973 essay on race relations by Toni Morrison published in The New York Times on September 30, 1990

On the Backs of Blacks by Toni Morrison Time December 2, 1993

Toni Morrison 1993 Nobel lecture audio recording and text transcript from Nobel Media

Author Toni Morrison describes the ordeals of her parents in the segregated South and why they fled to Ohio 2004 video

Toni Morrison: 2011 National Book Festival video

Toni Morrison Taught Me How to Think by Wesley Morris published in The New York Times on August 7, 2019