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Toni Morrison

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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is an African-American author, born Chloe Anthony Wofford, February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio.

In 1965 she became a senior editor for Random House in New York City. She was also a professor at SUNY Albany. Morrison received a B.A. in English from Howard University in 1953, and achieved a Master of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1955. Her novel Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. This story describes a slave who found freedom, but killed her infant daughter to save her from a life of slavery.

Morrison was an important player in the battle to open the canon of English and comparative literature. Her efforts during the 1960's and 1970's helped break down the segregation of literature from small minority subsets (African-American Literature or Hispanic Literature). Many now include Morrison's own work in the canon of American Literature.

She won the National Books Critics Award for Song of Solomon, a tale of the renunciation of materialism and the strength of brotherly love. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, the first African-American woman to receive this prize.

She is currently the Robert F. Goheen Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.

She called Bill Clinton "the first Black president", saying "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas."

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