Brow Beat

Writers, Artists, and Leaders Pay Tribute to Toni Morrison

Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, and more spoke about the late novelist’s influence on them.

US author Toni Morrison poses on September 21, 2012 during a reception sponsored by the US ambassador at his residence in Paris, as part of the 10th America Festival. The America Festival is a cultural event held in France every two years which gathers well-known figures from the world of literature, music and cinema. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK        (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GettyImages)
Beloved author Toni Morrison has died at the age of 88. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

Nobel Prize–winning novelist Toni Morrison died on Monday at the age of 88, and in the hours following the first reports of her death, many novelists, filmmakers, politicians, and more spoke about her importance to them. The author of 11 novels including Beloved and The Bluest Eye, Morrison was also an editor, prolific literary critic, and activist. Morrison earned numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, and she was the first black American woman be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.

Below is a collection of a few of the tributes responding to the news of Morrison’s death.