Toni Morrison is a critically acclaimed American novelist, inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1988, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, and awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1996. The many accomplishments and awards she has received speaks volume to her character and her abilities as a writer, her voice reaches the African American community and invites them into literature, showing them that there are role models to follow. “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.”
Toni Morrison was born on February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. She graduated Lorain High School in 1949, set to attend Howard University where she received her B.A. for English in 1953 and earned her Master’s Degree from Cornell University in 1955. After graduation she moved to Texas to teach at Texas Southern University. After a period of two years she returned to Howard University to teach. After several years of working at Howard, she became a Senior Editor at Random House Publishing and moved to New York City in pursuit of her new career as an editor, soon to be writer.
Toni Morrison’s writing career took off in 1970: The Bluest Eye, her first novel, was a success. In 1977 Song of Solomon, published by Knopf, Song of Solomon was chosen as a Book-of -the Month-Selection, the first by an African American author since Richard Wright’s Native Son. Song of Solomon received the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1978. She received the Oscar Micheaux Award, Friends of Writers Award,and the Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature for Song of Solomon.