One of the most representative American writer of our time and Nobel Laureate, Toni Morrison (Chloe Anthony Wofford) was born in Lorain, Ohio, into an African American working-class family. Her parents were hardworking and dignified
people, proud of their African American heritage, and formed a serene household where she grew up surrounded by songs and tales of Southern black folklore. Storytelling was a common practice in her family, both in terms of listening to stories and of inventing them. In this way her parents encouraged her to read, and it was not long before she developed a passion for the classics, from Jane Austen to Tolstoj. She was a brilliant student and soon became a university teacher; she also worked as an editor for Random House, the World's largest English language publisher. In 1958 she also married a Jamaican architect, Harold Morrison, and divorced in 1964, moving their two sons to Lorain first, and then to New
Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, came out in 1970; it was followed by Sula (1973), but the greatest success came with Beloved (1987), for which Morrison received the 1988 Pulitzer Prize . In the same year the writer was called to
teach at Princeton University - the first African American woman to hold a chair at an Ivy League university. 1992 saw the publication of Jazz, a historical novel set in the "twenties". In 1993 the Nobel Prize in Literature arrived to confirm her international reputation. The citation stated that " in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, Toni Morrison gives life to an essential aspect of American reality." Morrison's novels deal with the condition of women - and black women in particular - in a society dominated by racial prejudice and by male supremacy. Critics praise her epic power and her rich , poetical description of the African American world.