Hats off to you, Madame...
The African-American writer is inducted into the French Legion of Honor:
Known as the mother of contemporary African-American fiction, Toni Morrison was appointed an officer of France's Legion of Honor on Wednesday. As Frédéric Mitterrand pinned the iconic red and gold medal onto her cape, the French Culture Minister declared Morrison the "greatest American novelist of our time" and rightly so.
She's one of the country's most decorated writers, having won an ever-growing list of prestigious literary awards including the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for Beloved, her searing chronicle of antebellum slavery, which Oprah Winfrey later adapted as a movie. Even more impressively, she became the first black American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.
Mitterrand also celebrated Morrison for being "the first woman writer to tell the painful history of Afro-Americans." And perhaps this is the most poignant part of it all, because the honor comes just weeks after a group of Virginia public schools were criticized for distributing textbooks that misrepresented the role of slaves in the Civil War. In many ways, Morrison's work helped bring to light a side of history that was long downplayed in America.
Picture above, Toni Morrison. Photo by Getty Images.
-Kenya Hunt, for VOGUE ITALIA