Toni Morrison, the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, has died following a short illness, her family said in a statement on Tuesday.
She was 88.
"Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life," they said.
She was an American novelist to many renowned works, including "Beloved", "Song of Solomon", "Sula" and "The Bluest Eye".
Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for "Beloved" in 1988. The novel was later adapted into a film of the same name, starring U.S. talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Thandie Newton.
She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, and the committee said that in novels "characterized by visionary force and poetic import, " Morrison "gives life to an essential aspect of American reality. "
(With input from AFP.)