Oh, this one is exciting. Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winning author, turns 84 today! Morrison didn’t start seriously writing until her 30’s, and thank goodness she did.
According to the Writer’s Almanac podcast from this morning, she was looking for a good book about how racism affected vulnerable groups of people, but she couldn’t find any. So, she sat down and pulled out an old short story about a young black girl that desperately wanted blue eyes and turned it into her first novel.
This year Toni Morrison gifts the reading community with another novel entitled, God Help the Child, scheduled for release on April 30th.
Morrison’s work often exposes elements like racism, trauma, and pain in a way that only she can achieve. It’s been recommended to start with her first novel, The Bluest Eye, to see if a reader is apt to handle her subject matter.
Here are some fun facts about the award-winning author!
- She was the second of four children to parents George and Ramah
- She was born in Lorain, OH on February 18, 1931.
- She moved to New York in 1965 after leaving her husband, and got a job as a textbook editor. She then became an editor at Random House and edited the novels of famous writers like Henry Dumas and Toni Cade Bambara.
- Her first book, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. Morrison was 39 years old.
- Since then, Morrison has written several novels, four of which were chosen for Oprah’s Book Club.
What do you love about Toni Morrison?
Photo credit: flicker user Angela Radulescu