Born: 18 February 1931, Lorain, OH, USA
Residence at the time of the award: USA
Prize motivation: "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality"
Prize share: 1/1
Toni Morrison was born into a working-class family in Lorain, Ohio in the United States. She read a lot as a child and her father's stories, taken from the African-American tradition, later became an element in her own writing. She has studied and taught English at several universities, including Howard University in Washington D.C. From 1964 she worked as a publishing house editor, and since her debut as an author in 1970, she has also held positions at several universities, including Princeton. Toni Morrison has two children from her marriage to Harold Morrison.
Toni Morrison's works revolve around African-Americans; both their history and their situation in our own time. Her works often depict difficult circumstances and the dark side of humanity, but still convey integrity and redemption. The way she reveals the stories of individual lives conveys insight into, understanding of, and empathy for her characters. Toni Morrison's unique narrative technique has developed with each new work. Among her works are her debut novel, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved.