Toni Morrison (Author/Nobel Prize Winner/Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Toni Morrison (Author/Nobel Prize Winner/Pulitzer Prize Winner)

Toni Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931) is a Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor.

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed black characters. Among her best known novels are The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved.

Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio to George and Ramah (Willis) Wofford, the second of four children in a working-class family. As a child, Morrison read constantly; among her favorite authors were Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy.

Morrison's father told her numerous folktales of the black community (a method of storytelling that would later work its way into Morrison's writings).

In 1949 Morrison entered Howard University, where she received a B.A. in English in 1953. She then earned a Master of Arts degree in English from Cornell University in 1955, for which she wrote a thesis on suicide in the works of William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf.

After graduation, Morrison became an English instructor at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas (1955–57), then returned to Howard to teach English. She became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

In 1958 she married Harold Morrison, a Jamaican architect and fellow faculty member at Howard University. They had two children, Harold and Slade, and divorced in 1964. After the divorce she moved to Syracuse, New York, where she worked as a textbook editor. A year and a half later she went to work as an editor at the New York City headquarters of Random House.

As an editor Morrison played an important role in bringing black literature into the mainstream, editing books by authors such as Toni Cade Bambara, Angela Davis, and Gayl Jones.

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