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In Memoriam: Toni Morrison


American Masters mourns the loss of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, she published 11 acclaimed novels that illuminated the experiences of black America and inspired generations of writers.

She also received a National Book Critics Circle Award, the Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In this public television program produced in 1977, The Originals – The Writer in America, Toni Morrison reads excerpts from her novels The Bluest Eye (1970), Sula (1973) and Song of Solomon (1977) and speaks candidly about writing while raising two children and working as an editor.  Morrison is the subject of the new documentary film, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and airing on American Masters in 2020.


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