In 1993, the Nobel committee lauded Toni Morrison "who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."
Come celebrate this magnificent author and her new novel, A Mercy- Los Angeles Public Library
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford, in 1931 in Lorain Ohio, the second of four children in a black working-class family. She displayed an early interest in literature and studied humanities at Howard and Cornell Universities, followed by an academic career at Texas Southern University, Howard University, Yale, and since 1989, a chair at Princeton University.
She has also worked as an editor for Random House, a critic, and given numerous public lectures, specializing in African-American literature. She made her debut as a novelist in 1970, soon gaining the attention of both critics and a wider audience for her epic power, unerring ear for dialogue, and her poetically-charged and richly-expressive depictions of Black America.
A member since 1981 of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has been awarded a number of literary distinctions, among them the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
Louise Steinman is a writer and literary curator. Her work frequently deals with memory, history and reconciliation.
Her book, The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War was cited as "A graceful, understated memoir that draws its strength from the complexities it explores." (New York Times Book Review).
The book won the 2002 Gold Medal in Autobiography/Memoir from ForeWord Magazine and has been the selection of several all-city and all-freshman reading programs. The book chronicles her quest to return a war souvenir to its owner and -- in the process -- illuminates how war changed one generation and shaped another.
Her first book, The Knowing Body: The Artist As Storyteller in Contemporary Performance was hailed by the L.A. Times as a "dazzling study of the performing arts." It is based on two decades of Steinman's experience as a performer/director with So&So&So&So interdisciplinary theater troupe, and as a dance/theater critic for publications ranging from Willamette Week to High Performance, Oakland Tribune and others.
She is currently completing a book titled Through the Crooked Mirror: My Conversation with Poland.
Her essays and feature articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, New York Times Syndicate, L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Salon.com, Washington Post and other publications. Her features include profiles of Zen rabbis, elevator operators, artists, memoirists, combat veterans, translators, filmmakers, and an innovator in deaf education.
She has curated the award-winning ALOUD at Central Library series for the Los Angeles Public Library for the past fifteen years and is also co-director of the Los Angeles Institute of the Humanities at USC. She was Senior Creative Advisor for the Sundance Institute Arts Writing Program and she is an active member of PEN Center USA West.
David L. Ulin
David L. Ulin is book critic, and former book editor, of the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, Labyrinth, and The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith, selected as a best book of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is also the editor of three anthologies: Another City: Writing from Los Angeles, Cape Cod Noir, and the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a 2002 California Book Award. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Black Clock, Boom, Columbia Journalism Review, and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He teaches in the low residency MFA in creative writing program at UC Riverside's Palm Desert Graduate Center and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC.