Toni Morrison (b.1931)

  1. Christopher MacGowan

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch28

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook

How to Cite

MacGowan, C. (2011) Toni Morrison (b.1931), in The Twentieth-Century American Fiction Handbook, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444393675.ch28

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 21 JAN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405160230

Online ISBN: 9781444393675



  • Toni Morrison (b.1931), the first African American writer - to win the Nobel Prize for Literature;
  • Morrison, and her first novel, The Bluest Eye - working in Syracuse, publishing it in 1970;
  • Sula (1973), about African American neighborhood of Bottom - in the town of Medallion;
  • Morrison's first two novels, Song of Solomon (1977) - focusing on a male protagonist, in contrast to Morrison's first two novels;
  • Tar Baby (1982), Morrison's fourth novel - set outside of Ohio;
  • Beloved (1987), winning Morrison the Pulitzer Prize - decision not to grant the novel the National Book Award, a controversial one;
  • Morrison, coming across the story - while editing an African American folk history, The Black Book, at Random House;
  • novel, exploring role of memory - the way disruption and violence of the slave past, is either lived with or repressed;
  • Morrison, in 1988 elected - to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters;
  • Nobel Prize, a year before being awarded this - Morrison publishing Jazz (1992), Morrison's use of an unnamed and unreliable narrator, intruding with commentary


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bibliography