Remembering Toni Morrison

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“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names.” The life of Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Toni Morrison is remembered through this 2004 interview for CBS Sunday Morning highlighting what was most important to her: being a mother and a writer. Morrison died at the age of eighty-eight on August 5, 2019.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

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“Ultimately I knew that words have power.” Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s documentary about Toni Morrison is an exploration of the author’s life story, her values and challenges, and her creative work. The film includes engaging interviews with Morrison, as well as notable peers, colleagues, and admirers such as Hilton Als, Russell Banks, Angela Davis, Walter Mosley, Sonia Sanchez, and Oprah Winfrey.

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Books for Living

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“For me, books are the things that tell you what you need to do in life and they’re also the things that help you make sense of your life.” Will Schwalbe, author of Books for Living (Knopf, 2016), speaks with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about the importance of reading and the books that have taught him life lessons such as Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train (Riverhead Books, 2015), James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (Dial Press, 1956), and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (Knopf, 1977).

Toni Morrison

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In this video, MacDowell Colony chairman Michael Chabon presents Toni Morrison with the Edward MacDowell Medal for outstanding contribution to the arts and American culture. Morrison, who received a lifetime achievement award from the PEN American Center, tells a packed audience about how she became a writer and the inspiration for her first novel, The Bluest Eye.

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Imbolo Mbue

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"In a public library, surrounded by all these books, I felt very much at home." Imbolo Mbue talks about her love of public libraries, reading Toni Morrison's 1977 novel, Song of Solomon, for the first time, and her experience writing her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016). Read more about Mbue in "First Fiction 2016" in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine and listen to her read from her debut novel on Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

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I Know How to Write Forever

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"I don't think I could've happily stayed here in the world if I did not have a way of thinking about it, which is what writing is for me." Toni Morrison speaks about what motivates her to keep writing. Morrison's new novel, God Help the Child (Knopf, 2015), is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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