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Toni Morrison was an American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher, and professor.

She was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Upon the publication of her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), Morrison was recognized as one of the most powerful and distinct voices in literature. Her 1987 novel, Beloved, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was named the best work of American fiction of the late 20th century by The New York Times in 2006.