Beloved changed the way I read and experienced novels. It changed the way I looked at history, both popular and academic. While great books had always been food for my growing mind, the way Toni Morrison wrote, her use of the language, her vocabulary, her turn of phrase, her lilt, her rhythm, her flavor, her bittersweet ways, and cracking life open and presenting it on a platter for aesthetically rejoicing in and for devouring, altered my consciousness. I continued reading her catalogue until I had no choice but to start over and read them again.
She also inspired me to write, to be a writer. Heroines motivate us to be the best we can be at being ourselves‚ not to be like them. This is what Toni Morrison did for me. What she does, she does better than almost any other human, and that is my encouragement to strive for that kind of dedication and passion for my craft. We can overcome lack of great talent with a heroine to guide our path. Thank you, Ms. Morrison, for all your guidance.