Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, a pioneer and reigning giant of modern literature whose imaginative power in Beloved, Song of Solomon and other works transformed American letters by dramatising the pursuit of freedom within the boundaries of race, has died at age 88.
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced that Morrison died on Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Morrison’s family issued a statement through Knopf saying she died after a brief illness.
"It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends," her family said.
Morrison wrote 11 novels, many of them touching on life as a black American, in a glittering literary and award-laden career that lasted over six decades.
She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1988 for her 1987 novel "Beloved". Set after the American Civil War in the 1860s, the story centered on a slave who escaped Kentucky to the free state of Ohio.