Hollywood Mourns Novelist Toni Morrison

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Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Robin Roberts, Danielle Brooks, Rob Delaney and more stars took to social media Tuesday to pay tribute to the late writer whose works include 'Beloved,' 'The Bluest Eye' and 'Sula.'

Hollywood stars and public figures took to social media Tuesday to pay tribute to acclaimed American storyteller Toni Morrison, who died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York after a short illness. She was 88.

Morrison released her debut novel The Bluest Eye in 1970. She quickly established herself as a strong, distinctive voice of her generation through the story about Pecola, an 11-year-old black girl coping with feelings of inferiority because of her looks and the color of her skin as she grows up in a white society.

Her second novel, Sula, was published in 1973. The book earned her a National Book Award nomination, while her third book, 1977's Song of Solomon, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named a main selection of the Book of the Month Club. It was the first work of a black writer to be chosen since Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son.

She went on to publish Beloved in 1987. The novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was adapted into a film of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover.

Morrison became the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1993.

Oprah Winfrey remembered Morrison with a poetic post on Instagram, accompanied by a photo of the author's first appearance on Winfrey's daytime talk show: “In the beginning was the Word. Toni Morrison took the word and turned it into a Song…of Solomon, of Sula, Beloved, Mercy, Paradise Love, and more. She was our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller. She was a magician with language, who understood the Power of words. She used them to roil us, to wake us, to educate us and help us grapple with our deepest wounds and try to comprehend them. It is exhilarating and life-enhancing every time I read and share her work...She was Empress-Supreme among writers. Long may her WORDS reign!” 

Kerry Washington reflected on how Morrison's work impacted her. "I cannot imagine growing up in a world without her words. I pray you rest In Peace and in Power," she tweeted. "We will celebrate you with endless gratitude and love. Always."

Robin Roberts took to Instagram to honor Morrison. "So sad to hear of the passing of the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature," Roberts captioned a photo of the novelist. "Her legacy will live on through those who were impacted by her powerful and unique voice."

Meanwhile, Rob Delaney wrote on Twitter that Beloved was "indispensable to my understanding of America."

Danielle Brooks shared one of Morrison's quotes before she tweeted, "Your legacy will forever live on." The post included a photo of the late novelist.

Barack Obama remembered Morrison as a "national treasure" in a post on Twitter, which included a photo of the two of them together. "As good a storyteller, as captivating, in person as she was on the page. Her writing was a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience and our moral imagination. What a gift to breathe the same air as her, if only for a while," he wrote.

Beyonce also paid tribute to Morrison on her website. The singer shared Morrison's quote, "If you surrender to the air, you can ride it." The quote was accompanied by a photo of Morrison with the text "Rest in Paradise."

Rep. John Lewis reflected on Morrison's legacy in a statement. "The passing of Toni Morrison is a mandate to all others in the field to fulfill the high calling that her work and her life demonstrated," he said. "Her words, her wisdom, her undying love and commitment to her people are forever engraved in the pages of history, but her artistic, remarkable literary voice will be deeply missed."

Read on to see what others had to say about Morrison.