Morrison died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in NY after a brief illness, the publisher said.
Toni wrote 11 novels in her life, many non-fiction books, 5 children's books, two plays, two short fiction stories and one libretto. Set after the American Civil War in the 1860s, the story centered on a slave who escaped Kentucky to the free state of Ohio.
"Holding all those touched by Toni Morrison in my heart today".
"She was a great woman and a great writer, and I don't know which I will miss more", Robert Gottlieb, Morrison's longtime editor at Knopf publishers, said in a statement sent to AFP.
"I can think of few writers in American letters who wrote with more humanity or with more love for language than Toni", Mehta added. "While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this hard time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family"'. The 2019 documentary Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, Time quotes her saying, "I've spent my entire life trying to make sure the white gaze was not the dominant one in any of my books".
In the 1970s, Morrison began to gain recognition for her writing, receiving an American Book Award nomination for Sula and winning the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Song of Solomon.
"Beloved" was published in 1987 and was greeted with universal acclaim.
President Obama remembered Morrison on Tuesday as "a national treasure" who was "as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page".
Morrison's work includes classics such as "Beloved", "The Bluest Eye", and "Song of Solomon", novels that excavated painful chapters of America's past. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, the first African American to receive the distinction.
The book was released in 1970 and wasn't a commercial hit, though in a review, the New Yorker said Morrison was a "writer of considerable power and tenderness".
Or, oh my god, here she is again on Charlie Rose, talking about the trouble with white identity: "If you can only be tall because somebody's on their knees, then you have a serious problem". "She would literally channel the spirit of Margaret Garner, the inspiration for Sethe, into her performance", he said. In 2014, the University announced that her papers would be housed permanently at the Princeton Library. While there she was responsible for publishing works by Mohammed Ali and Angela Davis. Long may her WORDS reign! Sales were modest, but her book made a deep impression on the New York Times' John Leonard, an early and ongoing champion of her writing, which he called "so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry". May one of the greatest writers of all time rest peacefully knowing that she fulfilled her calling on this earth. Sometimes this took the form of eminently quotable aphorisms.
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey knows a victor when she sees it.