Toni Morrison

10 Toni Morrison Quotes for Your Deep Friend

Toni Morrison is one of the most beloved and revered names in literature, and on November 17th, Princeton University honored her in the most incredible way – her own building. “This is a very, very special, beautiful occasion for me,” said Morrison during the dedication ceremony for Morrison Hall.

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber noted Morrison’s rich history with the school, which dates back to 1989 when she first began her role as a professor and Robert F. Goheen Chair in the Humanities for the school.

“How fitting that the first building named through this process will now honor a teacher, an artist and a scholar who not only has graced our campus with the highest imaginable levels of achievement and distinction, but who has herself spoken eloquently about the significance of names on the Princeton campus,” said Eisgruber.


Morrison Hall

Morrison Hall | Image via Princeton University


Toni Morrison is the first black woman to win a Nobel Prize in literature, due to her honest, unapologetic style of storytelling. Her work often revolves around real events in history, and she has played a major role in bringing black literature to mainstream America.


In honor of one of our favorite authors, here are 10 of our favorite Toni Morrison quotes!


1. “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.”

2. “Anger … it’s a paralyzing emotion … you can’t get anything done. People sort of think it’s an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling — I don’t think it’s any of that — it’s helpless … it’s absence of control — and I need all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers … and anger doesn’t provide any of that — I have no use for it whatsoever.”

3. “Love is never any better than the lover.”

4. “She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it’s there, because it can’t hurt, and because what difference does it make?”

5. “You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.”

6. “It is sheer good fortune to miss somebody long before they leave you.”

7. “You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn – by practice and careful contemplations – the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it.” 

8. “There is really nothing more to say – except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.”

9. “A dream is just a nightmare with lipstick.”

10. “The hopelessness that comes from knowing too little and feeling too much (so brittle, so dry he is in danger of the reverse: feeling nothing and knowing everything.)”


Featured Image Via NPR.