Toni Morrison was a pioneer of modern literature. In 1964, she became an editor at Random House and one of the few Black women in publishing. Over the next 20 years, she would work with emerging fiction authors such as Gayl Jones and Toni Cade Bambara, on a memoir by Muhammad Ali and books by such activists as Angela Davis and Black Panther, Huey Newton. A special project was editing “The Black Book,” a collection of everything from newspaper advertisements to song lyrics that anticipated her immersion in the everyday lives of the past. She was nearly 40 when her first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” was published. By her early 60s, after just six novels, she had become the first Black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, praised in 1993 by the Swedish academy for her “visionary force” and for delving into “language itself, a language she wants to liberate” from categories of Black and White. In 1988, she won the Pulitzer Prize for “Beloved.” Publisher Alfred A. Knopf says Morrison died on a Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She was 88.