FILE - In this Sept. 1987 file photo, author Toni Morrison poses with a copy of her book "Beloved" in New York. Morrison, a pioneer and reigning giant of modern literature whose imaginative power in "Beloved," ''Song of Solomon" and other works transformed American letters by dramatizing the pursuit of freedom within the boundaries of race, has died at age 88. Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced that Morrison died Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.(AP Photo/David Bookstaver, File)

Toni Morrison was a 'literary mother' to countless writers

August 07, 2019 - 3:04 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Toni Morrison's death this week at age 88 leaves behind countless writers for whom her characters were like close acquaintances and her stories like parables to guide them through their own lives.

Edwidge Danticat, the prize-winning Haitian-American author, called her "a literary mother to generations of writers, especially black women writers like myself." To ask a writer about reading Morrison or how Morrison influenced their work is, in part, to ask why they became writers at all.

The layers of rhythms and allusions in Morrison's prose, from the Bible to black folklore, could make picking up a Morrison book the beginning of a lifelong education.

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