Morrison is the author of seven critically acclaimed novels and a professor at Princeton University. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved, and received even greater recognition when, in 1993, she received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Morrison was the first African-American woman to win the award.
Born Chloe Anthony Wofford in Ohio on February 18, 1931, Morrison received her undergraduate degree at Howard University and later completed her master's degree at Cornell. In 1958, she married Harold Morrison, a Jamaican architect; they divorced six years later. While she worked full-time as an editor at Random House and raised her two sons, Morrison began writing her first novel, The Bluest Eye. Sula is her second novel, and deals with themes of race, womanhood, the effects of history, and the contingencies of love, examining how all four intertwine to affect the beliefs and actions of individuals.
Noting that black writers have often had to pander to a white audience instead of concentrating solely on the business of writing, Morrison has said that she wanted to help create a canon of black work. Her literary efforts can and should be considered in this light, but while her fiction certainly deals with the complex experience of blacks in America, Morrison's work also highlights the timeless and universal themes that exist within this specific struggle.