On Monday night (August 5), Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison passed, according to a source at her publisher, Knopf.
The celebrated novelist was 88-years-old. Complications of pneumonia caused Morrison’s death, according to a spokeswoman, reports the NY Times. Morrison passed away in New York City at Montefiore Medical Center.
Toni Morrison, whose given name was Chloe Ardella Wofford, was best known for her best-selling novel Beloved, a Pulitzer Prize for fiction winner (1988).
Song of Solomon (1977), another celebrated work of Morrison’s, received the National Book Critics Circle Award the same year that it was published.
Jazz (1992) and Paradise (1997) were among Morrison’s other critically-acclaimed novels, which comprise a loose trilogy alongside Beloved.
Following the publishing of Jazz, Morrison garnered a Nobel Prize in Literature. She became the first black woman of any nationality to win the prestigious award.
When Morrison received her Nobel Prize, she had already written six novels.
“We die,” Morrison concluded her Nobel Prize address. “That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
In 1998, Beloved was adapted into a film of the same name, which starred Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.
The Novel laureate who was native to Lorain, Ohio went on to write five more novels, including God Help the Child (2015).
Before Morrison became a world-renowned author, an alumni of Howard University and Cornell University, she broke barriers as an editor for Random House.
Morrison worked there for 19 years, aiding in the writing careers of fellow black writers including Toni Cade Bambara, Gayl Jones, Chinua Achebe, and Angela Davis.
Toni Morrison was also the Chair of Humanities at Princeton, where the celebrated writer taught from 1989 to 2006.
In a statement on Tuesday, Morrison’s family and publisher described her as “our adored mother and grandmother,” reports The Guardian.
“Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well-lived life. While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family.”