Toni Morrison, who passed away last night at the age of 88, already taught us how to remember her.“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives,” Morrison said during her Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1993.A writer, editor, professor, and thinker extraordinaire, Morrison “did” language unlike anyone else. Best known for her 1988 novel Beloved, the story of an escaped slave who kills her newborn child, Morrison revolutionised literature by placing the stories of Black people at the forefront. She sought to demolish what she called the “lobby,” or the comfortable, inviting threshold between a white reader and black text. She leaves behind 11 novels and a trove of wisdom for readers, writers, and people moving through the world.
Here are some of Morrison’s best quotes — lanterns that briefly illuminate the mystery we live in.
“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”― Toni Morrison, Beloved