'Toni Morrison instrumental in evolution of English language'

Tributes have been pouring in since the death of Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning US novelist Toni Morrison at the age of 88.

RELATED: Acclaimed novelist, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison dies at 88

On Weekend Breakfast, Refiloe Mpakanyane puts her legacy under the spotlight with arts and literature journalist Karabo Kgoleng and commissioning editor at Tafelberg and MBD Africa Publishing, Mbali Skosana.

Describing the influence the groundbreaking writer has had on her own life, Kgoleng says she fully understood the power of words.

She said she was writing for black people in the same way that (Leo) Tolstoy wasn't writing for her.

Karabo Kgoleng, Arts and literature journalist

Her work, if you look at the body of English language writing, is also instrumental in the evolution of the English language, especially because it starts using this to speak about the realities of oppressed people going back in time.

Karabo Kgoleng, Arts and literature journalist

Before feminism was something that even black women could claim to own, she was already calling it out.

Karabo Kgoleng, Arts and literature journalist

Mbali Skosana highlights the important role Morrison also played as a book editor, and the active engagement required from a reader in her own work.

The thing I love about Toni Morrison is that she fully indulges herself in her work. She's not afraid to make it as singular and peculiar to her as is possible.

Mbali Skosana, Commissioning editor - Tafelberg and MBD Africa Publishing

It's something she spoke about, she needs the reader to also come on board and participate and help her in the creation of this world she's making.

Mbali Skosana, Commissioning editor - Tafelberg and MBD Africa Publishing

Listen to this tribute to Toni Morrison here:


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