Submitted by Mark Woodard

The Snellville Branch will be celebrating the life and work of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, who died last year at the age of 88.

There will be book chats and discussions of her life and writing style, and a presentation led by Dr. Tanya Clark, an Assistant Professor at Morehouse College who teaches courses on Morrison’s work. For more information on the programs at the Snellville Branch, click here.

The central theme of her work is the African American experience; her use of fantasy, her intricate poetic style, and her rich interweaving of the mythic gave her stories great strength and texture.

Essential Morrison
Morrison is the author of eleven novels, one opera, several books of essays and a series of children’s books co-written with her son Slade. Here is a short list of some of her best work:

The Bluest Eye (1970) The book follows a young African American girl, Pecola Breedlove, who believes her incredibly difficult life would be better if only she had blue eyes.

Sula (1973) Explores good and evil through the friendship of two women who grew up together in Ohio. Nominated for the American Book Award.

Song of Solomon (1977) This lyrical story follows the journey of Milkman Dead, a Midwestern urban denizen who attempts to make sense of family roots and the often harsh realities of his world. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Beloved (1987) The main character Sethe, a former slave, is haunted by her decision to kill her infant daughter. One day the daughter returns as a living entity who becomes an unrelenting presence in her home. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Other recent works include Jazz (1992), Paradise (1998) and A Mercy (2008).

In 1993, she became the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and in 2012, President Barack Obama presented her with the Presidential Medal of Honor.

In 2019, she published The Source of Self-regard, a rich gathering of her essays, speeches, and meditations on society, culture, and art, spanning four decades.

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” -Toni Morrison