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Toni Morrison Trivia

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge

Though other novels have received more prizes and sold more copies, Morrison believes her 2003 novel Love is her best book, calling it "perfect."18

When Presidential candidate Barack Obama first contacted Morrison to ask for her support in the 2008 Democratic primary, Morrison - then a Hillary supporter - turned him down. In January 2008 she changed her mind and wrote Obama a letter of endorsement.19

Prior to the ceremony awarding Morrison her Nobel Prize, she called a member of the Nobel Committee and chastised them for not giving her enough time to get ready. "I said, 'If you're going to keep giving prizes to women - and I hope you do - you're going to have to give us more warning. Men can rent tuxedos. I have to get shoes, I have to get a dress.'"20

Morrison was upset when she realized that her first novel The Bluest Eye would be published under the name Toni Morrison, instead of her birth name Chloe. The editor who worked on her book knew her by the nickname Toni and used the name without asking.21

Morrison watches Court TV and soap operas to chill out.22

When Oprah Winfrey chose Morrison's novel Song of Solomon as the second selection of her now-famous Book Club in December 1996, the writer was perplexed. "I'd never heard of such a thing, and when someone called, all excited, with the news, all I could think was, 'Who's going to buy a book because of Oprah?'" Morrison later recalled with a laugh. Many people, as she soon discovered - Song of Solomon sold 1 million copies after the Book Club announcement, and sales of Morrison's other novels jumped 25 percent.23

Morrison reads magazines and newspaper clippings from the time and place where her novels are set to give herself a feel for the location.24

For a while after she lost her home in a fire, Morrison could only speak to other people who had suffered similar traumas. She and the writer Maxine Hong Kingston, whose home also burned down, spoke on the phone daily.25

After Morrison publicly complained that there was not even a "small bench by the road" to memorialize those lost to slavery, the Toni Morrison Society and the National Park Service worked together to fix that. In July 2008, Morrison dedicated the first "Bench by the Road" in Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. Plans call for benches to be installed at sites important to African-American history.26

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