Wall Street Journal reporter Jamin Brophy-Warren passes along his interview with Toni Morrison, the last American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
WSJ: Where did you watch the election results?
Ms. Morrison: I was too anxious and I didn’t want to be in anybody’s company. But I was totally in the dark when someone called to say he won. My computer crashed and the TV didn’t work. This morning I didn’t know how tense I was but I felt this relief like something was lifted. Even though I look forward and relish the hard work of the next term, I know we can do it. It made me feel like that phrase Martin Luther King Jr. had said about being to the mountaintop. I could never visualize the metaphor until now.
I love that last idea—that a 40-year-old metaphor finally showed up in response to an Obama win. I felt the same way about the Sam Cooke reference in the speech: the answer to a question asked a long time ago.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 7, 2008