Arts & Culture
Why Toni Morrison Matters
25 September 2021
Queen Elizabeth Hall | £10
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Morrison, herself one of the most frequently banned authors in America, championed underrepresented voices and was a Vice-President of PEN International.Her novels are known for their epic themes, exquisite language and richly detailed African American characters who are central to their narratives. Among her best-known novels are The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, Jazz, Love and A Mercy. Morrison earned a plethora of book-world accolades and honorary degrees, also receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Produced in partnership with English PEN.
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Margaret Busby OBE, Hon. FRSL (Nana Akua Ackon) became Britain’s youngest and first Black Woman publisher when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the 1960s. A writer, editor, broadcaster and literary critic, she has received many honours, served on several boards, and judged numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize.
Tsitsi Dangarembga is an award-winning Zimbabwean novelist, filmmaker and playwright. Her novel This Mournable Body was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize. She is also the author of Nervous Conditions, for which she was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Dangarembga is also a poet and a dedicated activist, as well as the founding member of PEN Zimbabwe.
Nadifa Mohamed is the author of Black Mamba Boy, The Orchard of Lost Souls and, most recently, The Fortune Men. Nadifa has received both The Betty Trask Award and the Somerset Maugham Award, as well as numerous other prize nominations, for her fiction. She was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013.
Razia Iqbal has been a journalist with BBC News for more than three decades. She currently presents two flagship international current affairs programmes on radio: Newshour on the BBC World Service and The World Tonight on Radio 4.