Nobel laureate Toni Morrison dead at 88

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President Obama Awards Presidential Medals Of Freedom

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 29: Novelist Toni Morrison is presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Barack Obama during an East Room event May 29, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. The Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, is presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has died.

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf says Morrison died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She was 88.

She was the first black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, awarded in 1993. The Swedish Academy hailed her use of language and her “visionary force.”

Her novel “Beloved,” in which a mother makes a tragic choice to murder her baby to save the girl from slavery, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988.

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