Once-in-a-generation writer Toni Morrison has passed away at the age of 88. The Nobel Prize winner's publisher Knopf said Morrison died on Monday evening.

Known best for her spellbinding, Pulitzer-prize winning novel Beloved, Morrison was a literary icon of unparalleled stature. She was the first Black woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and spent decades opening doors for an entire generation of Black writers. 

Her ability to use poetic language to explain the most difficult aspects of the Black American experience made her beloved by the literary community and Black readers across the world.

She dazzled a generation of readers with legendary novel after novel. Morrison started her career with The Bluest Eye, a groundbreaking story about a Black woman struggling against racist beauty standards.

The novel was the initiation of an unparalleled streak of generation-defining books that are now adored as timeless. SulaSong of Solomon, Tar Baby and Beloved are now staples of most high school and college English classes.

As an editor for Random House over 19 years, she helped usher in a wave of Black writers who defined an era. She eventually began to write on her own and produced 11 novels reports Time. 

Morrison, whose birth name was Chloe Ardella Wofford, was born in 1931 in Ohio. A documentary highlighting her amazing career and decades of work was released on June 21 and is still playing in select theaters. 

President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 2012, and she served as a professor at multiple universities across the country. 

She was unapologetic about her desire to write for Black people and made it a hallmark of her career. 

“I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio … Faulkner wrote what I suppose could be called regional literature and had it published all over the world. That's what I wish to do. If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water," she said. "Behind this question is the suggestion that to write for black people is somehow to diminish the writing. From my perspective there are only black people. When I say 'people,' that's what I mean.”