|Toni Morrison in a 2008 photograph.|
Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison will be visiting GW on Wednesday, September 21, where she will be honored by the University and the Toni Morrison Society with the dedication of a memorial bench in front of Lisner Auditorium. The event will be part of the society's Bench by the Road Project, which takes its name from Morrison's own observation that in 1989, when she was writing her masterwork Beloved, there was no place to "summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves ... There is no suitable memorial, or plaque, or wreath, or wall, or park, or skyscraper lobby ... no small bench by the road." The bench on GW's campus will recognize the fact that Lisner Auditorium was the first integrated venue of its kind in the District of Columbia.
As part of her visit, Morrison will address students, faculty, staff, neighbors, and guests in an evening talk at Lisner.
Toni Morrison is widely recognized as one of the nation's most important living writers. In 2006, a distinguished group of writers, critics, and editors deemed Beloved the best American novel of the last quarter-century.