The literary world lost a beloved icon Monday night. Novelist Toni Morrison died at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, according to CNN. She was 88. Morrison was widely revered and known as a literary giant, crafting spaces for black women to feel loved, cared and seen, long before it was popular.

Toni Morrison

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Morrison enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., receiving a bachelor’s degree in English in 1953 and a master’s degree in English from Cornell University just two years later. Soon after she’d join the Howard faculty, where her students included the civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael.

Patrick McMullan Archives

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In 1988, she won a Pulitzer Prize for her book Beloved and was the awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, making her the first African-American woman to win a Nobel Prize. In 2012 former President Barack Obama awarded the Ohio native the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor.

Here’s a look back at the literary giant discussing the significance of her 2012 book, Home.

Celebrities from Shonda Rhimes to Stacey Abrams have taken to social media to pay homage to the woman whose words transcended us to another place.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family and literary community.

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