Quotes of Toni Morrison

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 Toni Morrison Quotes: Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison, known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle

Common Asked Questions about Toni Morrison

What did Toni Morrison win the Nobel Prize for?

Morrison won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction for the critically acclaimed novel Beloved (1987). She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

Who were Toni Morrison's parents?

Morrison's Writing Style

Morrison’s writings concentrate on rural Afro-American communities and on their cultural inheritance, which she explores detail and vivid vocabulary.

Our Favorite Quotes of Toni Morrison

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

“Make up a story... For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul.”

“Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.”

“At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”

“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.”

“Sweet, crazy conversations full of half sentences, daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.”

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”

“I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”

“And I am all the things I have ever loved: scuppernong wine, cool baptisms in silent water, dream books and number playing.”

“Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous.”

“You are your best thing”

“In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate.”

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“She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it's there, because it can't hurt, and because what difference does it make?”

“Love is never any better than the lover. ”

“Lonely, ain't it? Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain't that something? A secondhand lonely.”

“What difference do it make if the thing you scared of is real or not?”

“Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.”

“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”

“If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”

“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”

“It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.”

“It was a fine cry - loud and long - but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow.”

“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”

“There is really nothing more to say-except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.”

“Something that is loved is never lost.”

“A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double.”

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“Lonely was much better than alone.”

“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

“I dream a dream that dreams back at me”

“A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick.”r

“We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom.”

“Let me tell you something. A man ain’t a goddamn ax. Chopping, hacking, busting every goddamn minute of the day. Things get to him. Things he can’t chop down because they’re inside.”

“What I think the political correctness debate is really about is the power to be able to define. The definers want the power to name. And the defined are now taking that power away from them.”

“But to find out the truth about how dreams die, one should never take the word of the dreamer.”

“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose--not to need permission for desire--well now _that_ was freedom.”

“Writing is really a way of thinking--not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.”

“If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression.”

“the hopelessness that comes from knowing too little and feeling too much (so brittle, so dry he is in danger of the reverse: feeling nothing and knowing everything)”

“Not knowing it was hard; knowing it was harder”

“I wish I’d a knowed more people. I would of loved ‘em all. If I’d a knowed more, I would a loved more”

“I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.”

“I don't think a female running a house is a problem, a broken family. It's perceived as one because of the notion that a head is a man. ”

“It's a bad word, 'belong.' Especially when you put it with somebody you love ... You can't own a human being.”

“There in the center of that silence was not eternity but the death of time and a loneliness so profound the word itself had no meaning. ”

“You looking good." "Devil's confusion. He lets me look good long as I feel bad.”

“I don't think anybody cares about unwed mothers unless they're black or poor. The question is not morality, the question is money. That's what we're upset about.”

“It never looked as terrible as it was and it made her wonder if hell was a pretty place too. Fire and brimstone all right, but hidden in lacy groves.”

“No matter what all your teeth and wet fingers anticipated, there was no accounting for the way that simple joy could shake you.”

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