Oprah Honors Toni Morrison at Author’s Celebration of Life

TMZ Staff
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Oprah on Toni Morrison
She Defined ‘Reading’ for Me …
Honors Author at Memorial

11/21/2019 5:08 PM PT

TMZ.com

Oprah paid tribute to Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison by reading some of her literature and sharing a great anecdote about their first meeting.

Toni’s celebration of life was held Thursday at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Jesmyn Ward — along with Oprah — stepped up to the pulpit to honor their friend.

Oprah talked about the first time she met Toni — during a gathering in Maya Angelou‘s backyard, of all places — and called it “One of the great thrills of my life.” That’s despite the fact Oprah admitted saying something a little embarrassing to the celebrated author — watch the clip, the story got big laughs.

To close out her time, Oprah recited a passage from Toni’s 1977 work “Song of Solomon” … and, again, the audience burst into applause.

Toni died in August of complications from pneumonia while surrounded by her loved ones.

Toni was perhaps best known for her 1987 best-seller, “Beloved.” She was a renowned figure in literature for her novels that spoke to the African-American experience. “Beloved,” “Jazz” and “Paradise” made up a loose trilogy — with the first book being adapted into the 1998 film starring Oprah and Danny Glover.

Toni was 88.

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