Celebrated author Toni Morrison died on Monday night at the age of 88. The first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature, Morrison was best know for her best-selling novel Beloved — winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction — and her subsequent works Jazz and Paradise. Her final novel, God Help the Child, was published in 2015.
Following the news of Morrison’s death, fans and celebrities alike shared loving messages dedicated to the late author across social media, many sharing favorite, inspirational quotes from the writer herself, demonstrating her far-reaching appeal. Read on for tributes from Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Shonda Rhimes, and more.
I just assumed Ms. Morrison would live forever. And in so many ways in so many hearts and minds and spirits, she will. pic.twitter.com/jYQSs0DMd6— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) August 6, 2019
“If you look at the world as a brutal game, then you bump into the mystery of the tree-shaped scar. There seems to be such a thing as grace, such a thing as beauty, such a thing as harmony. All of which are wholly free and available to us.” Your life was our gift, #ToniMorrison pic.twitter.com/wcD7w9zKYp— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 6, 2019
We are profoundly sad to report that Toni Morrison has died at the age of eighty-eight.— Alfred A. Knopf (@AAKnopf) August 6, 2019
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019 pic.twitter.com/DWnElCpMKc
"If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it," Toni Morrison said.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) August 6, 2019
We are all so lucky to live in a world where she took her own advice and shared it with others.
Toni Morrison. While you have left the physical realm, the many treasures you left us will bear fruit for generations and generations. Your work has cascaded through my life deeply and simply...rest in power to a beloved icon. pic.twitter.com/YQPS3gR5Ml— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) August 6, 2019
My favorite living artist across all mediums has died today. The genius of her work is that for the very first time in American literature, the writer doesn’t assume the reader is white. In fact, it assumes the… https://t.co/BsdlKBDkBD— J. August Richards (@jaugustrichards) August 6, 2019
Thank you Toni Morrison for sharing your many gifts with us. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” - Toni Morrison Song of Solomon— Tamron Hall (@tamronhall) August 6, 2019
“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) August 6, 2019
I cannot imagine growing up in a world without her words. I pray you rest In Peace and in Power.
We will celebrate you with endless gratitude and love. Always.
“Something that is loved is never lost"...encouraging words from the beloved author #ToniMorrison that we can surely use today. So sad to hear of the passing of the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize… https://t.co/7FkcdVOyMW— Robin Roberts (@RobinRoberts) August 6, 2019
I had to grow into Toni’s work like growing into a suit meant for me, when it was time. When I was ready. But the suit had always been meant for me. Had always been waiting for me.— Jason Reynolds (@JasonReynolds83) August 6, 2019
Aw man Toni Morrison taught me the word Rememory. RIP to a incredibly powerful and impactful woman.— The Big Day out now (@chancetherapper) August 6, 2019
Toni Morrison was a towering intellect, a brilliant scribe of our nation’s complex stories, a heartbreaking journalist of our deepest desires, and a groundbreaking author who destroyed precepts, walls and those who dared underestimate her capacity. Rest well and in peace. pic.twitter.com/nMkxXRtEoz— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) August 6, 2019
Her words were like mirrors to our collective souls. Like pillows to cushion the blows. Like mothers to wrap us in love. Like friends to hold our hands and see us through the darkness. #RipToniMorrison ❤ you. May we lift her up in the light of goodness and hold her there.— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) August 6, 2019
RIP Toni Morrison. This is a devastating loss to the world of words, to our understanding of power and it’s reach, to the cultivation of empathy, to rich, nuanced, elegant storytelling. Her work was a gift to every one who had the pleasure of reading her.— roxane gay (@rgay) August 6, 2019
Life is short (rest in peace, Toni Morrison) and the world is terrible, but all I can offer is what I have: my words. Off to the writing desk. 💔— Celeste Ng (@pronounced_ing) August 6, 2019
She made me understand“writer” was a fine profession. I grew up wanting to be only her. Dinner with her was a night I will never forget. Rest, Queen. “Toni Morrison, seminal author who stirringly chronicled the Black American experience, dies” https://t.co/S6qxix5OCj— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 6, 2019
She’s larger than life to me. This news feels hard to grasp. Rest In Peace, Toni Morrison. https://t.co/AEHnHjbrCC— Aisha Saeed (@aishacs) August 6, 2019
The world needs voices like Toni Morrison’s today more than ever. Such a loss. https://t.co/S7RdmoMWwg— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 6, 2019
A towering figure in literature, Toni Morrison, has passed. Winner of the Nobel Prize, and keeper and storyteller for so much of our nation's soul, she was truly Beloved to us all. Rest now, and let us honor you as a nation eternally grateful for your contribution.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 6, 2019
“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” ~Beloved~ “There must be another one like you...There’s got to be at least one more… https://t.co/unu7DS7ECe— Kimberly Hébert (@Kimactinup) August 6, 2019
“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.” -Toni Morrison RIP pic.twitter.com/sbosHnxr08— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) August 6, 2019