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Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was the only African-American child in her first-grade class and the only one who could read. As she grew, she read constantly—Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevski, Gustave Flaubert and Jane Austen. While in college, Toni Morrison began to write a story about a black girl who longed to have blue eyes. Years later, it would evolve into her first novel, The Bluest Eye. Her second novel, Sula, was nominated for the National Book Award. And Song of Solomon, her third, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Morrison's fifth novel, Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the American Book Award. Beloved was also adapted for the screen, starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. The New York Times Book Review went on to name Beloved the best American novel published in the previous 25 years. In 1993, Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her first novel published after her win was Paradise, which completed a trilogy that began with Beloved and Jazz.


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