Toni Morrison’s gift was to make black people feel seen

Irenosen Okojie, The Guardian

It is impossible to fully encapsulate the magnitude and influence of Toni Morrison, a writer of such power, gravitas and ingenuity, the rhapsodic praise almost seems inadequate, anti-climactic. But we must do so. We must celebrate her. If the act of writing makes the human experience that much more knowable then we must mark this moment.

Morrison’s greatest gifts – a virtuosic feel for language and an eye for bringing the lived experiences of black Americans to the centre – to me seem inextricably linked. Never has a writer been so clear about her intention. These are lives that matter. Here are worlds possessing a will of their own. Hers are characters facing structural inequalities but they have agency, a mesmerising pull beyond the page.

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