Toni Morrison, one the nation’s most celebrated novelists, was recently awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Morrison is renowned for works such as “Song of Solomon,” “Jazz” and “Beloved,” for which she won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988. When she became the first African American woman to win a Nobel Prize in 1993, Morrison’s citation captured her as an author “who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality.”
She created the Princeton Atelier at Princeton University to convene artists and students. Morrison continues to write today.
Morrision was one of 13 recipients who received the nation’s highest civilian honor.
The awards are presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.
“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life,” Obama said in a release. “But each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place.”