Eighty-eight years is a good, long life, by any standard. Still, the loss of Toni Morrison is a gut punch and hard to take for many people. I think it is especially so because her life and writing meant so much to all of her readers. For all of her fans, this is a personal loss. It is especially hard to take right now because her voice is balm in troubling times.
I’m very sorry she is gone, but I am so grateful that she lived and shared an incredible body of work with the world. That is such a huge gift.
In the wake of the news of Morrison’s death, some lovely things have been written and shared, or re-shared.
This Letter Isn’t For You: On The Toni Morrison Quote That Changed My Life – by Akaeke Emezi, a black non-binary novelist, author of Freshwater. This is a lovely expression of claiming space, identity, and having been shoved to the margins.
- From the New Yorker, 2003, Ghosts in the House – How Toni Morrison fostered a generation of black writers.
- I’m a huge fan of Brain Pickings, the labor of love of Maria Popova, and in May of 2019 she posted: Toni Morrison on the Power of Art and the Writer’s Singular Service to Humanity.
- Five Poems by Toni Morrison – by Jericho Brown, Poetry Editor of The Believer, literature, arts and culture magazine.
Writers — journalists, essayists, bloggers, poets, playwrights — can disturb the social oppression that functions like a coma on the population, a coma despots call peace, and they stanch the blood flow of war that hawks and profiteers thrill to.
~ Toni Morrison, The Source of Self-Regard, 2019
These are words we need right now. Thank goodness, and Toni Morrison, we have them.