Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019), known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987); she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993.Born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, Morrison graduated from Howard University in 1953 with a B.A. in English and just two years from Cornell University with a master's in American Literature. She later taught English at Howard University, was married, and had two children before divorcing in 1964. In the late 1960s, she became the first black female editor in fiction at Random House in New York City. In the 1970s and 1980s, she developed her own reputation as an author, and her perhaps most celebrated work, Beloved, was made into a 1998 film.
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My great-grandfather . . . came to Washington with the Union Army during the Civil War. He stopped at my great grandmother's house to get some water and she was the one who handed him the glass of water. He put his hand over hers, and then he got off the horse, and after that, they got married.