Why Did Toni Morrison Change Her Name?

Nobel laureate ToniMorrison is known for writing many popular novels, including The BluestEye and Song of Solomon. You might know a lot about her work but onething you might not know is that Morrison’s real name isn’t Toni. She changedit years ago before her career really took off. Here’s why author Toni Morrisonchanged her name.

How Toni Morrison became famous

Morrison’s writing career took shape during her time atHoward University. She started writing fiction as a result of her participationin a writer’s group at the university. After graduating from Howard in 1953,Morrison attended Cornell University and completed her master’s degree in 1955.She then taught at Texas Southern University. Morrison’s rise to fame beganafter the publication of her first book. She wrote her debut novel, TheBluest Eye, in 1970.

Oprah turned Toni Morrison’s book Beloved into a movie

An accomplishment most authors can only dream of is having a book adapted for a movie. This dream became a reality for Morrison when Beloved became a movie back in 1998. Oprah Winfrey and actor Danny Glover starred in the film.

Winfrey reportedly read Morrison’s book in just one night. She was so impressed with the novel she decided to get in touch with the author and discuss turning the book into a movie. Winfrey didn’t have Morrison’s number, so she got creative. The media mogul called the fire department in the author’s town of Princeton, New Jersey and told them to “call Toni and tell her Oprah called,” reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Why Toni Morrison changed her name

So, why did Toni Morrison change her name? The writer changed her name while attending Howard University because people had a hard time pronouncing her birth name, Chloe. Morrison is the author’s married name (her former husband’s name was Harold Morrison) and Wofford is her maiden name. She just added the nickname Toni to her married name.

Morrison changed her name to make life easier for others,but it proved to be a decision she later regretted. She once said she had misgivingsabout using the nickname Toni, reportsThe Guardian. Here’s what Morrison said in 1992 about the name change: “Iam really Chloe Anthony Wofford. That’s who I am. I have been writing underthis other person’s name. I write some things now as Chloe Wofford, privatethings. I regret having called myself Toni Morrison when I published my firstnovel, The Bluest Eye.”

Read more: WhatWas Toni Morrison’s Net Worth at the Time of Her Death?

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