The Literary Community Reacts to Toni Morrison's Death

"She gifted us with language, with courage, and with tenderness."

White, Black, Black-and-white, Monochrome photography, Monochrome, Head, Human, Turban, Photography, Leaf,
(Image credit: David Levenson)

Toni Morrison, the groundbreaking author of Beloved and The Bluest Eye, died in New York City on Monday at the age of 88. The news was announced by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf and confirmed by the New York Times. Morrison was one of the most important voices of the 20th and 21st centuries, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate whose work explored African American identity, family, and the nature of art itself over her many-decade career. Her latest collection of essays and speeches, The Source of Self-Regard, was published in February.

Shortly after Morrison's passing was made public, the literary community, politicians, celebrities, and academics took to social media to celebrate the life of the extraordinary author. Below are a selection of those reactions, and we'll update as more information becomes available:

Nicola Yoon

Barack Obama

Oprah Winfrey

Hanif Abdurraqib

Roxane Gay

Evette Dionne

Aisha Saeed

George M. Johnson

Elizabeth Gilbert

Keith Boykin

Imani Perry

Celeste Ng

Hari Kunza

Vicky Mochama

We'll continue to add to this as more authors share their thoughts.

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Cady has been a writer and editor in Brooklyn for about 10 years. While her earlier career focused primarily on culture and music, her stories—both those she edited and those she wrote—over the last few years have tended to focus on environmentalism, reproductive rights, and feminist issues. She primarily contributes as a freelancer journalist on these subjects while pursuing her degrees. She held staff positions working in both print and online media, at Rolling Stone and Newsweek, and continued this work as a senior editor, first at Glamour until 2018, and then at Marie Claire magazine. She received her Master's in Environmental Conservation Education at New York University in 2021, and is now working toward her JF and Environmental Law Certificate at Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains.