Internationally acclaimed author Toni Morrison has died at 88, as her publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced on Tuesday (Aug. 6). A spokeswoman said Morrison died from complications of pneumonia.
Morrison was the first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Judges honored her as one “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.” In 2012, she was given America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“Morrison’s novels were celebrated and embraced by booksellers, critics, educators, readers and librarians,” Morrison’s publisher stated on Tuesday. “Her work also ignited controversy, notably in school districts that tried to ban her books. Few American writers won more awards for their books and writing.”
In the wake of the sad news, artists and other public figures are taking to social media to honor the author, who was also a mother, grandmother, and aunt.
Take a look at some of the posts below.
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” Toni Morrison. I’m deeply sadden to share that one of our greatest writers and minds in American History, Toni Morrison, passed away at the age of 88. May God Bless Her Soul. pic.twitter.com/Dq1UL4ENIY
— COMMON (@common) August 6, 2019
#ToniMorrison has died. Just when we most need to hear her voice, she is gone. Thank you for the insights, the stories, and the poetry of your thought that have enriched us all these many years. Lay your burden down.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 6, 2019
She made me understand“writer” was a fine profession. I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, Queen. “Toni Morrison, seminal author who stirringly chronicled the Black American experience, dies” https://t.co/S6qxix5OCj
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 6, 2019
In the passing of Toni Morrison, we lost one of our greatest voices & storytellers. Holding close those touched by her being & her gift. Her work gave us power, hope & freedom. While our world shines a little less bright today, we know “something that is loved is never lost.”
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) August 6, 2019
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 6, 2019