Toni Morrison, the Nobel laureate in literature whose best-selling work explored black identity in America and in particular the often crushing experience of black women through luminous, incantatory prose resembling that of no other writer in English, died yesterday at her home in the Bronx.

She was 88.

Lucifer’s DB Woodside paid tribute to Morrison in a tweet saying, “Thank you for creating a space for us. R.I.P.”

He also included her famous quote about racism:

“The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

 

 

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg also commended Morrison today:

 

 

Mike DeWine, the governor of Ohio, also offered his condolences on behalf of Morrison’s home state:

 

 

Now This shared this wonderful moment when former President Obama awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom:


 

The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1993, Morrison was the author of 11 novels as well as children’s books and essay collections.

Among them were celebrated works like “Song of Solomon,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and “Beloved,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Morrison was one of the rare American authors whose books were both critical and commercial successes.

Her novels appeared regularly on the New York Times best-seller list, were featured multiple times on Oprah Winfrey’s television book club and were the subject of myriad critical studies.

A longtime faculty member at Princeton, Morrison lectured widely and was seen often on television.

The Toni Morrison Society, devoted to the study of her life and work, was founded in 1993.

In awarding her the Nobel, the Swedish Academy cited her “novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import,” through which she “gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

Her other laurels include the National Humanities Medal in 2000 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented in 2012 by President Obama.

 

Toni Morrison with Barack Obama

 

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