Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in 1931 in Lorain, Ohio, Toni Morrison is one of the United States’ foremost writers. Using settings from the 1940s to the 1980s, Morrison's novels explore African American lives and issues of poverty, rape, incest, beauty, racism, and oppression. Morrison states that her works are about how people relate to one another, love and its effects, and how people who are victimized by experiences in society struggle to survive whole. Thus, the novels focus upon the quest for self and cultural identity in the face of a world that is often alienating and oppressive due to racism and the legacy of slavery.

The Bluest Eye, Morrison's first novel, describes the descent into madness of a young black girl, Pecola, who ...

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