Barack Obama Remembers Toni Morrison: ‘A National Treasure’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Former President Barack Obama was one of the many mourning the passing of the great American novelist Toni Morrison on Tuesday morning after she passed away.

Obama shared a photo of himself and Morrison in the White House on Twitter.

“Toni Morrison was a national treasure, as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page,” he wrote. “Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while.”

In a longer statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday morning, Obama added, “Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful — a challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy.”

He added, “She was as good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. And so even as Michelle and I mourn her loss and send our warmest sympathies to her family and friends, we know that her stories — that our stories — will always be with us, and with those who come after, and on and on, for all time.”

Obama awarded Toni Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. She was honored with the award in the same class as singer Bob Dylan.

During the 2011 award ceremony at the White House, President Obama praised Morrison’s book ‘Song of Solomon’ and said that as he read the book, he remembered, “not just trying to figure out how to write, but also how to be and how to think.”

Morrison was one of the most accomplished American novelists of the 20th century, and over her career, she won every award writers work toward including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Books Critics Circle Award and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Morrison was 88 years old at the time of her death.

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I first read her books in HS. I still have them. I still read them. I will always love them





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