Happy Birthday, Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is a legendary Black American author,editor and Professor Emeritus, at Princeton University. Her iconic books include, ‘ Beloved”, the book adapted into a film starring Oprah in 1998, and “The Bluest Eye” which dealt with the controversial issue of eurocentric beauty standards,racism, featurism and colorism. So happy 86th birthday to you Ms.Morrison.

Longreads

INTERVIEWER

You mentioned getting permission to write. Who gave it to you?

MORRISON

No one. What I needed permission to do was to succeed at it. I never signed a contract until the book was finished because I didn’t want it to be homework. A contract meant somebody was waiting for it, that I had to do it, and they could ask me about it. They could get up in my face and I don’t like that. By not signing a contract, I do it, and if I want you to see it, I’ll let you see it. It has to do with self-esteem. I am sure for years you have heard writers constructing illusions of freedom, anything in order to have the illusion that it is all mine and only I can do it.

-Toni Morrison, in a 1993 conversation with Elissa Schappell at The Paris Review. Morrison…

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