Toni Morrison, born Chloe Anthony Wofford, was raised in Lorain, Ohio. She has been married and divorced and has two children. She has an undergraduate degree from Howard University and a Masters degree from Cornell University in English. She has been an editor at Random House and taught at many colleges and universities. She currently teaches at Princeton University. In addition to Beloved, Morrison has written the novels The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Jazz, and Paradise. She has also written essays and plays.
in 1987, there was outrage in the black community when she did not receive the National Book Award. A group of African-American writers took out an ad in The New York Times praising Beloved. The book went on to receive a Pulitzer Prize and a Nobel Prize for Literature, but remains Morrison’s most controversial work. Supporters find the sophisticated contemporary representation of slavery and its effects compelling, while critics find it melodramatic or take issue with its claims about the horrors of slavery.
When Morrison published
is based on the true story of an ex-slave named Margaret Garner, who attempted to kill her children to prevent them from returning to slavery. Taking this event as the germ for her story, Morrison weaves it into a story about refugees from slavery, caught between remembering and forgetting what they have been through. She also uses the novel to explore the intensity of a mother’s relationship with children, particularly under slavery.