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Press Releases

Friday, April 2, 1999

Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison at SSU April 25, Tickets Available to Public April 7

SALISBURY, MD--Salisbury State University inaugurates its new Presidential Lecture Series with a reading by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison on Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

"Ms. Morrison,s stature as one of the great American writers of the 20th century makes her a perfect choice to launch a lecture series devoted to bringing world leaders in the arts, humanities and sciences to the Eastern Shore," said SSU President William C. Merwin.

Morrison, 68, has had a distinguished career as a teacher, editor, essayist and novelist. In 1993 she became the first African-American to win the Nobel Prize.

Her seven major novels, "The Bluest Eye," "Sula," "Song of Solomon," "Tar Baby," "Beloved," "Jazz and Paradise," have received international critical acclaim.

She received the National Book Critics Award for "Song of Solomon" and the Pulitzer Prize for "Beloved." Both novels were chosen as the main selections for the Book of the Month Club. Her books of essays include "Playing in the Dark" and her edited collection "Race-ing Justice," "En-Gendering Power Essays" on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality, and the co-edited collection "Birth of a Nation,hood:" Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O.J. Simpson Case.

Morrison has received honorary degrees from Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Sarah Lawrence, Oberlin, Dartmouth, Yale, Georgetown, Columbia, Brown, University of Michigan and Universite Paris 7-Denis Diderot. She was also the first recipient of the Washington College Literary Award in 1987.

Other prestigious awards include: the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal for distinguished contribution to American letters; Rhegium Julii Prize for Literature, 1994; the Condorcet Medal, Paris, 1994; Pearl Buck Award, 1994; commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, Paris, 1993; the Modern Language Association of America Commonwealth Award in Literature, 1989; Sara Lee Corporation Front Runner Award in Arts, 1989; Anisfield Wolf Book Award in Race Relations, 1988; the Cleveland Arts Prize in Literature in 1978; and the Distinguished Writer Award of 1978 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

She was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. Morrison is a founding member of the Academie Universelle Des Culture, a trustee of the New York Public Library, a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, The International Parliament of Writers and the Author,s Guild where she served on the Guild Council and as Foundation treasurer. She served on the National Council of the Arts for six years, and is a member of the Africa Watch and Helsinki Watch Committees on Human Rights.

In addition, she has ties to higher education in the mid-Atlantic region: She earned her bachelor,s from Howard University, her master,s from Cornell and taught at several universities. Currently, she is Robert F.Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.

Admission to the reading is free. Tickets will be available to the general public starting Wednesday, April 7 at the Guerrieri University Center Information Desk. Tickets do not guarantee a seat in Holloway Hall. Seating in the auditorium is first come, first served. Any overflow will be directed to the Wicomico Room in the University Center, a simulcast site. For more information call 410-543-6271 or 410-543-6006.



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