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The downside to sometime closeting oneself away from the world is that you could miss important news. I only found out that Toni Morrison had died today. Thanks to Dorothy Koomson on twitter.

I was shocked and saddened although we must all go one day. It was only a few weeks ago that I spied her book – Playing in the dark – whiteness and the literary imagination, on my bookshelf and it took me back to 1992.

Ms Morrison had a given a talk on the book, to a rapt audience, in a packed ICA. The queue to have the book signed was very long, and I was hungry, so I skipped having mine signed and had berated myself for my foolishness ever since.

For me, reading her books was always at once a grapple and a hypnotic, seductive dance. I remember the first time I read Beloved – I went back over and over again to ensure that I grasped her meanings. She controlled her world and twisted and turned and moulded her prose to her effect. I was not surprised when she won the Nobel Prize.

She deserved it.

So, she is one gone the way we all have to go.

Adieu Ms Morrison!

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