If you were in a Buffalo book club in the early 1990s, most likely you read one of Toni Morrison's amazing books: “Beloved,” ”Song of Solomon”

WIVB reports that Nobel laureate Toni Morrison has passed away.  She was 88

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Her publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced the news last night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

“Toni Morrison passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends,” the family announced. “The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing.”

Morrison came from humble beginnings, yet persevered.

The second of four children of a welder and a domestic worker, Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain, Ohio, a steel town outside of Cleveland. She was encouraged by her parents to read and to think.

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Few authors rose in such rapid, spectacular style. She was nearly 40 when her first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” was published. By her early 60s, after just six novels, she had become the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, praised in 1993 by the Swedish academy for her “visionary force” and for her delving into “language itself, a language she wants to liberate” from categories of black and white. In 2012, Barack Obama awarded her a Presidential Medal of Freedom.