Offscreen Notes

Daniel Garrett’s obituary on the great writer Toni Morrison

August 10th, 2019

The great writer Toni Morrison, born in 1931 as Chloe Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, educated at Lorain High School, Howard University, and Cornell University, an editor at Random House, a professor at Texas Southern University, Howard University, the State University of New York, and Princeton, and, most importantly, the author of The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and Paradise, and other books, has died in New York, August 5, 2019. She published the essay collection The Source of Self-Regard earlier in 2019. Her book Beloved was made into a 1998 film by director Jonathan Demme, starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Toni Morrison herself has appeared in several documentaries, including The Foreigner’s Home (2018) by Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree, inspired by an interdisciplinary exhibit Morrison curated at Louvre, focused on the idea of the stranger, the foreigner, the immigrant and featuring screening of Charles Burnett films, literary discussions, and musical performances; and the audio-visual life and career retrospective, The Pieces I Am (2019) by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, featuring Morrison and several of her friends and colleagues. (Morrison participated as well in the 2005 Cannes film festival as a juror, along with Javier Bardem, Agnes Varda, John Woo and others.) Toni Morrison is known for her editing and writing, and for being the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, and for being the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize.

(Daniel Garrett)

« John Singleton (1968-April 29, 2019)