Toni Morrison (b. 1931)

American novelist. Born to working-class parents and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison received her undergraduate education at Howard University before completing her master’s degree at Cornell University. She worked as an editor for a decade before beginning to publish her own writing, much of which centers on the complexities of race and gender. By the time she won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved in 1987, she had published four other novels: The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973), Song of Solomon (1977), and Tar Baby (1981). After the publication of Jazz (1992) she received the 1993 Nobel Prize for literature. Her most recent novels are Paradise (1997) and Love (2003). Morrison held teaching positions at Howard, Yale, and Rutgers universities before moving to Princeton University, where she is currently a fellow in the Council of the Humanities. See also luminarium.org.