Toni Morrison

Standard Name: Morrison, Toni
Birth Name: Chloe Anthony Wofford
Nickname: Toni
Married Name: Chloe Anthony Morrison
TM 's eleven novels give her a place as one of the major American novelists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her books of non-fiction—speeches and essays on social and literary topics— give her an equally high place among American thinkers. She showed her versatility in less predictable genres: songs, theatrical works, and children's works in collaboration with her son Slade. Her themes have been summarized as the position of black people in US society; the damage men do to women; the sustaining bonds between women; the power of memory and the impact of the past on the present; the corruption of innocence; redemption.
Birne, Eleanor. “Drip-Feed”. London Review of Books, p. 23.
In 1993 TM won the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Margaret Atwood
In 2007 she contributed (along with Nadine Gordimer , Toni Morrison , Amy Tan , and others) to The Alphabet of Hope, an anthology in support of worldwide literacy put out by UNESCO .
Borne Back Daily. .
8 September 2015
Education Malorie Blackman
MB was shaped by her reading outside school. She never entered a bookshop until she was fourteen, but relied on libraries. Early favourites were C. S. Lewis 's Narnia books, Johanna Spyri 's Heidi books...
Friends, Associates Alice Walker
This job cemented her friendship with Gloria Steinem . Later, after her divorce, AW and June Jordan started The Sisterhood, a group of black women, artists of one kind of another, who met regularly for...
Intertextuality and Influence Pat Barker
PB says that one stage she threw away the manuscript of this novel in despair, but her husband rescued it from the bin.
Jaggi, Maya. “Pat Barker. Dispatches from the front”. The Guardian, pp. G2: 16 - 19.
She said she felt the absence of models for writing fiction...
Intertextuality and Influence Bernardine Evaristo
Evaristo lists her influences as including The Bone People by Keri Hulme , Mama Day by Gloria Naylor , The Famished Road by Ben Okri , The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro ,...
Intertextuality and Influence Meiling Jin
In the introduction to the book of poems that was her first publication, MJ noted that poetry was a form of expression that comes easier to me than most others. This state of affairs was...
Literary responses Mary Renault
The book came out five years after the Sexual Offences Act in Britain decriminalised many homosexual practices there, and three years after the Stonewall Inn Riots in New York marked the start of Gay Liberation...
Occupation Alice Walker
She supplemented her Radcliffe Institute writing fellowship (worth $5,000, awarded for a year and extended for a second year) by teaching at Wellesley College .
White, Evelyn. Alice Walker. A Life. Norton.
218, 222, 225
There her course on black women writers...
Occupation Margaret Atwood
Later, in 1982-3, MA was President of the Writers' Union of Canada . She was President of the Canadian branch of PEN International in 1984-6. She became a Vice-President of Pen International on 11 July...
Publishing Bessie Head
Toni Morrison in her capacity as an editor at Random House annoyed BH by wanting to classify these two as young people's books.
Eilersen, Gillian Stead. Bessie Head. Wits University Press.
Then in early 1979 Heinemann (the last publisher that could...
Reception Zora Neale Hurston
Along with Walker, ZNH has influenced many other writers, African-American and otherwise: these include Toni Cade Bambara , Gayl Jones , Toni Morrison , and Mary Helen Washington .
Textual Features Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The monologue, spoken entirely in the voice of the slave, portrays her brief life history. Having dared to love another slave, she is raped (probably gang-raped) and impregnated. She flees with her baby but kills...
Textual Features Rachel Hunter
As usual she opens with a preface, declaring as (male, fictional) editor of the letters her partiality for the protagonist, Rachel Marian Cowley . Rachel (whose mother died early) was born in the West Indies...
Textual Production Andrea Levy
AL quotes Toni Morrison : being a black woman writer is not a shallow place but a rich place to write from.
Levy, Andrea. “Back to my Own Country”. British Library Windrush Stories.
She has said, too: I write because I would like to change the world.
Levy, Andrea. “Back to my Own Country”. British Library Windrush Stories.
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Margaret Atwood
Subjects include English women writers Virginia Woolf , Antonia Fraser , Marina Warner , and Hilary Mantel , Americans Toni Morrison and Ursula Le Guin, as well as the reluctant Canadian Susanna Moodie and...


: Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, who was black,...

National or international item


Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till , who was black, was brutally murdered at a little town called Money in the Mississippi Delta for having either whistled or called Bye, baby after a white woman.

24 September 2001: US author Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections...

Writing climate item

24 September 2001

US author Jonathan Franzen 's novelThe Corrections was named as a selection by Oprah Winfrey in Oprah's Book Club . He caused a furore by declining to participate.


Morrison, Toni. A Mercy. Knopf, 2008.
Morrison, Toni. Beloved. Knopf, 1987.
Morrison, Toni. God Help the Child. Vintage Chatto and Windus, 2015.
Morrison, Toni. Home. Vintage Chatto and Windus, 2012.
Morrison, Toni. Jazz. Knopf, 1992.
Morrison, Toni. Love. Knopf, 2003.
Morrison, Toni. Paradise. Knopf, 1998.
Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark. Harvard University Press, 1992.
Morrison, Toni. “Recitatif”. Confirmation: An Anthology of African-American Women, edited by Amiri Baraka and Amina Baraka, Morrow, 1983, pp. 243-61.
Morrison, Toni. “Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation”. Black Women Writers (1950–1980): A Critical Evaluation, edited by Mari Evans, Anchor Books, 1984, pp. 339-45.
Morrison, Toni. Song of Solomon. Knopf, 1977.
Morrison, Toni. Sula. Plume, 1973.
Morrison, Toni. Tar Baby. Knopf, 1981.
Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston , 1970.
Morrison, Toni. The Dancing Mind. Knopf, 1996.
Morrison, Toni. The Source of Self-Regard. Knopf, 2019.