3 Nov. 2010
U.S. author Toni Morrison, whose 1987 novel "Beloved" about a runaway slave won a Pulitzer Prize and contributed to a body of work that made her the first black woman to be presented the Nobel Prize in Literature, died on August 5 at the age of 88. Morrison was a commercial as well as critical success, drawing praise for writing in a vivid, lyrical style while assessing issues of race, gender and love in American society. "Beloved" was set during the U.S. Civil War and based on the true story of Sethe, a woman who killed her 2-year-old daughter to spare her from slavery. The woman was captured before she could kill herself and the child's ghost visits her mother. Morrison told NEA Arts magazine in 2015 that she had already written a third of the book before deciding to bring in the ghost to address the morality of whether the mother was right to kill the child.