I read Beloved, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby and Sula within two years. There was something about her voice that inspired me. There was a rhythm and a style in her work that transported me. Her dedication to exploring African American life was a model for how I would explore various communities that I identified with.
In 1993, when I first started studying writing, my writing teacher Ayofemi Folayan was ecstatic.
"Toni Morrision won the Nobel Prize!" she said.
"Cool," I said, but I was hiding the fact that I was unfamiliar with her and her work. If she won the Nobel Prize, I guess I should know who she is. I started with her master piece Beloved, the tale of a black woman who kills her children rather than have them become slaves.
I didn't know such story telling could exist. I became a different person, a better writer because of her. Thank you.