Obituary

An unflinching look at the dark side of humanity

Writer Toni Morrison (in a 2008 file photo) produced landmark works that foregrounded the African-American experience, particularly from a female perspective.
Writer Toni Morrison (in a 2008 file photo) produced landmark works that foregrounded the African-American experience, particularly from a female perspective.PHOTO: NYTIMES
In a 2012 file photo, then United States President Barack Obama awards novelist Toni Morrison (both right) the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.
In a 2012 file photo, then United States President Barack Obama awards novelist Toni Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House.PHOTO: REUTERS

Toni Morrison, the feted author of 11 novels, tackled racism, slavery, abuse and violence

"We die. That may be the meaning of life," said trailblazing African-American writer Toni Morrison when she became the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. "But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives."

Morrison, the author of 11 novels including Song Of Solomon (1977) and Beloved (1987), died on Monday aged 88. Her language is how many will measure their lives for generations to come.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2019, with the headline 'An unflinching look at the dark side of humanity'. Print Edition | Subscribe