“We die,” Morrison closed her Nobel Prize address. “That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” https://t.co/ZkIgJOChdO
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) August 6, 2019
One of my favorite interviews with Toni Morrison. The interviewer asked her when she was going to “substantially” write about white people. Her response? “You can’t understand how powerfully racist that question is, can you?” pic.twitter.com/WFhNMgx7xv
— Paul McCallion (@OrangePaulp) August 6, 2019
The Washington Post collected memories of Morrison from “eight black female writers & thinkers” — including a best-selling author named Michelle Obama:
… For me and for so many others, Toni Morrison was that first crack in the levee — the one who freed the truth about black lives, sending it rushing out into the world. She showed us the beauty in being our full selves, the necessity of embracing our complications and contradictions. And she didn’t just give us permission to share our own stories; she underlined our responsibility to do so. She showed how incomplete the world’s narrative was without ours in it.
It’s a thread running through “Beloved” and “Sula” and “The Bluest Eye” and all of her work — that black stories, particularly the stories of black women and black girls, are worthy of examination and celebration. Again and again, she was unapologetic about that fact, deliberate in proving that our stories are rich and deep and largely unexplored. We belong, she showed us, not just in paperback books but in textbooks, not just in a publishing house but in the White House. And on their own, our stories are more than enough to inspire a Nobel laureate…
"All of that art-for-art’s-sake stuff is BS.
All good art is political! There is none that isn’t.
And the ones that try hard not to be political are political by saying, 'We love the status quo.’”
—Toni Morrison, via @annfriedman’s always-wonderful newsletter
— laura olin (@lauraolin) August 9, 2019
I wrote about how everything I am as a writer begins and ends with Toni Morrison who shepherded a generation of black writers by showing us that we are rich places to write from. https://t.co/amVSn7cgZG
— roxane gay (@rgay) August 9, 2019
It was good to reread this slowly last night & sit with the incomprehensible weight and power of what Toni Morrison did for this country all on her own, with the force of her artistry and genius. We were lucky to be able to read her, and we still are https://t.co/KznOj5ctTI
— Jia Tolentino (@jiatolentino) August 7, 2019
Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while. pic.twitter.com/JG7Jgu4p9t
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 6, 2019
— Princeton University (@Princeton) August 6, 2019