Toni Morrison is an award winning author of several novels, as well as various other works.
Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford on February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio, she is well known for writing about the black experience, especially the female black experience.
Her third novel, Song of Solomon, (1977), brought national attention. It was the first novel by a black writer chosen for a Book-of-the Month club main selection since 1940.
She has won numerous awards for her work, and was the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature for her book, Beloved, in 1993.
In 1988, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction again, this time for Beloved. This book was made into a movie by the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.
These two books are well known and well loved, but perhaps the best known is her first one. It began as a short story that she wrote to take to a writer's group. It later became the novel The Bluest Eye published in 1970.
This is a story of a little girl who longs for blue eyes, believing that it would lift her out of the poverty and violence that was her life.
These are sad stories, to be sure. Sometimes difficult to read, and even more difficult to imagine how horrible it must have been for anyone forced to live in these circumstances.
But it happens, and the stories need to be told. Nothing changes for the better by pretending bad things don't happen.