In 1993, Toni Morrison became the first woman of African descent to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The achievement was a fitting tribute to an American novelist with a distinguished career of notable “firsts” in the field of publishing. Her best know work, Beloved, won the Pulitzer prize and her other novels, plays and works of non-fiction have moved, motivated and inspired readers for almost 40 years. From a working-class childhood in Ohio to worldwide recognition, Toni Morrison has told her stories of black America with courage, fortitude and uncompromising honesty. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to American literature, the highest civilian honor in the country.