From the Archive: Toni Morrison

Daniel Hautzinger
Author Toni Morrison on Callaway Interviews

This spring, PBS launches The Great American Reada special series and campaign in which people will vote on the top 100 English-language books.

"I think being a woman limited me in some regard," Toni Morrison tells John Callaway. Yet through her astounding imagination, broad empathy, and magical language, the Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved, The Bluest Eye, and other books has transcended any limitations in her nearly 50 years of writing. In this 1977 interview with WTTW's Callaway about her third novel The Song of Solomon, she honestly and directly discusses her imagination and empathy, her belief in storytelling, and her deep love for writing. 

Nor is Morrison the only one that impresses in the interview. In a Chicago Tribune Magazine profile of Callaway from the same year, Morrison emerges from taping the interview "exhilarated, breathing hard," despite her low expecations going in (previous interviewers had barely known her work). "'He read the book," she says," the profile continues. "'He listened to me.' Toni Morrison leaves, walking lightly, smiling to herself." 

Watch excerpts of the extraordinary interview here. 

Toni Morrison
Women's History Month
From the Archive
John Callaway