Toni Morrison And "Jazz"
Toni Morrison is one of the most celebrated African-American authors of our time. She "has become a distinctive literary voice in the 20th Century, and her works have become essential reading in the body of contemporary American fiction" (Random House 1). Morrison writes about the African-American experience in different times in American history. She also portrays African-American women as heroes in many of her novels. She has become a hero for all Americans because of her writings.
Life of Morrison
Chloe Anthony Wofford was born on February 18, 1931, in Lorain, Ohio. Her parents were George and Ramah Wofford. Chloe was the second of four children. Her parents taught her about her African American Heritage and to enjoy great literature. When she entered the first grade, she was the only black student in her class. She was also the only student that knew how to read ("Morrison, Toni" 1).
Chloe attended Howard University and graduated with a degree in English in 1953. She later earned a Master's degree from Cornell. When she was in college, she began going by the name of Toni. After college, Morrison taught at Texas Southern University for two years. She returned to Howard University to teach English in 1957. While she was teaching there, she met Harold Morrison and eventually married him. Morrison had two sons with Harold. They were named Harold Ford and Slade Kevin ("Morrison, Toni" 1).
Toni and Harold Morrison were divorced in 1964. After her divorce Morrison moved to New York City with her two sons. She began working as a book editor for Random House in 1965. In 1967, Morrison became a senior editor at Random House. While she was editing books she was busy sending her own novels to various publishers. Morrison had two jobs, one as an associate professor of English at the State of University of New York City at Purchase, and she continued to work at Random House. Morrison left her position at Random House in 1983. In 1984, she was named the Albert Schweitzer Professor of the Humanities at the State of New York in Albany ("Morrison, Toni" 1).
Morrison published many books and in 1987, she was named the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of Humanities at Princeton University. She was the first black woman writer to hold a named chair at an Ivy League University. Morrison experienced many tragedies in 1993. Her mother died and her home in Grand View-on-Hudson, New York, was destroyed by a fire. She also experienced a great honor when she received the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature in that same year. She was the eighth woman and the first black woman to receive this ("Morrison, Toni" 2)
"Morrison's enduring popularity, somewhat rare for a novelist of such high literary stature, became evident in 1996, when Song of Solomon resurfaced on bestseller lists after a push from one of Morrison's more powerful fans, the talk-show host and one-woman media empire Oprah Winfrey, who also starred in the 1998 film...