Reading lists

Where to start reading Toni Morrison’s books

Toni Morrison wrote some of the most important books of the past 50 years. If you're new to her work, here's where to begin. 

A photo of Toni Morrison, smiling
Toni Morrison. Image: Michael Lionstar

Toni Morrison wrote her first novel in 1970, after a career in publishing where she championed writers including Angela Davis. Morrison, who died aged 88 in 2019, was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and earnt a place in the hearts and bookshelves of readers the world over. 

As well as novels, Morrison also wrote plays, articles, anthologies, children’s books, short fiction, non-fiction, and even a libretto for the opera Margaret Garner. She read her audio books herself – even into her late eighties.

There is, in short, a lot of Morrison to catch up on. So where to start? Here we offer one route in to a lifetime of writing.

What did you think of this article? Let us know at for a chance to appear in our reader’s letter page.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more