Toni Morrison: Nobel Laureate Dies Aged 88

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The Nobel Prize-winning US author Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88.

Her death, at Montefiore Medical Center, was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. A spokeswoman said the cause was complications of pneumonia. Ms. Morrison lived in Grand View-on-Hudson, N.Y.

The author of 11 novels, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, having published her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 1970.

Born in an Ohio steel town in the depths of the Great Depression, Morrison carved out a literary home for the voices of African Americans, first as an acclaimed editor and then with novels such as The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon and Beloved. Over the course of a career that garnered honours including the Pulitzer prize, the Nobel prize, the Légion d’Honneur and a Presidential Medal of Freedom presented to her in 2012 by her friend Barack Obama, her work became part of the fabric of American life as it was woven into high school syllabuses up and down the country.

The Morrison family statement said the “extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt” had “passed away peacefully last night [5 August] surrounded by family and friends”.

“The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing,” it continued.

“Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life.”

Morrison died at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York on Monday.

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