Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor of the Humanities, Emerita at the Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University. She has degrees from Howard and Cornell universities, and was appointed the Robert F. Goheen Professor at Princeton University in spring 1989.

Morrison’s nine major novels—The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, Love, and A Mercy—have received extensive critical acclaim. She received the National Book Critics Award in 1978 for Song of Solomon and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved. In 2006 Beloved was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best work of American fiction published in the last quarter-century.

Morrison’s lyrics for “Honey and Rue,” commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Kathleen Battle with music by André Previn, premiered in January 1992; her “Four Songs” with music by Previn premiered with Sylvia McNair at Carnegie Hall in November 1994; “Sweet Talk,” written for Jessye Norman with music by Richard Danielpour, premiered in April 1997; “Woman.Life.Song,” commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Jessye Norman with music by Judith Weir, premiered in April 2000; and the opera Margaret Garner with music by Richard Danielpour premiered in May 2005.

In fall 2005 Morrison was the guest curator at the Musée du Louvre in its “Grand Invité” program for a month-long series of events across the arts on the theme of “The Foreigner’s Home.” She has received honorary degrees from Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Sarah Lawrence, Oberlin, Dartmouth, Yale, Georgetown, Colombia, Brown, University of Michigan, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot, and the Université Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV.

Morrison was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. She is currently a trustee of the New York Public Library, and a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

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Jessye Norman