Vintage will celebrate the late Toni Morrison’s 89th birthday through partnerships and activities throughout the year.
The annual Vintage Kingston Animation Prize, run with the undergraduate animation students at Kingston University, was won by Page Allchorn, Amy Godfrey, Noah Monneareu and Zac Song for their animated video of Morrison’s final book, Mouth Full of Blood: Essays, Speeches, Meditations.
The video, which can be found here, was judged by Vintage marketing director Chloe Healy, creative director Suzanne Dean, Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams, and bookseller India Chambers.
Carty-Williams said: "From the murky echo of deep water to the transition from a drop of ink to the black hand in bound in chains I was transfixed. Martin Luther King Junior into the kinetic charge of protest to the backdrop of restless jazz sold this again for me. To have captured a movement that came before our lifetime but made up the texture of Toni Morrison’s in 30 seconds is a feat. My god, and the immediate cut of jazz to the echo of that final drop of ink? I won’t stop thinking about it. A video to be celebrated as much as we celebrate Toni."
Next month, "The Pieces I Am", a documentary about Morrison, will be released and Vintage is partnering with Republic Film for a promotional campaign that will include a one-day advance screening on 5th March followed by a Q&A with Margaret Busby.
Other partnerships include ICA's weekend festival from 12th to 14th March, and WOW festival at Southbank.
In the autumn, Vintage will also publish four of Morrison’s best-known novels, redesigned for the occasion.
Vintage editorial director Hattie Adam-Smith said: "Toni Morrison was one of the greatest writers of all time. Her books stand above and apart as some of the finest to ever have been written. The huge outpouring of love and grief when Toni passed away last August rippled across the globe, and holds testament to the impact that she had on readers. Beloved has held a place on the Vintage Classics list for many years, and it now feels right to bring more of her books alongside it. The Bluest Eye, Sula and Song of Solomon are all masterpieces, works of fiction so accomplished, powerful and compelling that they will always be timely, and always be classics.
"Working with our creative director Suzanne Dean on a new and innovative cover look has been a pleasure and I can’t wait to share these new editions with the world and, I hope, a whole new audience of readers that may have never have picked up a Toni Morrison book before. She has so much to teach us about ourselves, and about how we see each other; that she is gone is a tragedy. It is an honour to work to preserve her legacy, and to ensure that these brilliant books are appealing and available for generations to come."