Novelist Toni Morrison in a probing 1998 interview with Ed Bradley

Toni Morrison, author of great American novels such as "Beloved" and "Sula," has died. She spoke with Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes in 1998

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Toni Morrison -- Nobel laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of acclaimed novels such as "Beloved," "The Bluest Eye," and "Song of Solomon" -- has died, Knopf Publishing has confirmed. She was 88. The publisher said Morrison died Monday night at Montefiore Medical Center in New York after a brief illness. 

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 In 1998, Morrison was profiled on "60 Minutes" by correspondent Ed Bradley. The author told Bradley she wanted to make her activities stand for something because of a debt she felt to her family and her community. She also talked about exploring America's history of race relations with her writing.

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"The truth I happen to be most interested in has to do with the nature of oppression, and how people survive it, or don't," Morrison said. "It's amazing to me, particularly for African-Americans, just amazing, that we're not all dead. That's a constant shocker."