Yes! One of our literary BAEs–the great and influential Toni Morrison was honored again for her brilliant talent as an author by the National Book Critics Circle last night! As the only living and American recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, this is just another treat to bestow on her mantle which includes the Pulitzer Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Who run the world? Toni!
The ceremony was held at the Tishman Auditorium of New York City’s The New School. She was introduced by poet and long-time fan Rita Dove. Morrison, an 84-year-old Ohio-native was humbled by the NBCC and once on stage to accept her award, she recalled when her first novel, The Bluest Eye was released. “When I published my first novel, The Bluest Eye, the reception was, I’m going to say, slight.”
She also dropped some wise words (per usual) on the status of books in America, and why, like Prince reminded us at The Grammys that books still matter: “Now, she continued, the organization that’s survived its founders is fighting a broader battle. “It’s more than unique and more than necessary. I think it’s urgent. The publishing world is in flux, facing new kinds of distribution. Bookstores are shutting or reassigning themselves. Companies merge to avoid collapse. This is the situation, which may change, but what I know will always be available is the NBCC.”
The annual NBCC night was full of recognition of new and previous generations of scribes and girl power was queen! Other notable winners were Claudia Rankine for her complex Citizen: An American Lyric, in poetry, Marilynne Robinson for Top Fiction, Lily King and Ellen Willis.
Such a great honor for Morrison and the other ladies! Congrats! And look out for Morrison’s latest masterpiece, God Help The Child, in April of this year!