Toni Morrison, the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning American author whose writings grappled with race, identity and the legacy of slavery in the US, has died at the age of 88.

Morrison’s works — including the novel Beloved, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988 — have become essential parts of the American literary canon since the publication of her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in 1970. Other well-known works include Sula, Song of Solomon and Jazz.

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