The Atlantic

What Toni Morrison Knew About Trump

In her 1993 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, the late author cautioned against the distraction of the “political correctness” debate.
Source: Stephen Lovekin / Getty / The Atlantic

I think a lot about Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Prize lecture. Morrison, who died last week at the age of 88, was one of the nation’s most revered novelists and thinkers, and has left behind an immense opus that has generated renewed interest. Her acceptance serves as a prescient reference to the fact that journalists and political leaders today are wrestling with the language necessary to describe the social and political chaos ignited by the Trump administration. It also doubled as a rebuke to detractors that Morrison, who wrote inimitable novels about African American life, was being honored with the highest literary prize in the world. In her talk, she invited the boundaries of academia and politics.

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