12:40 PM PT -- Oprah just posted a picture of Toni during her first appearance on 'Oprah.' She also penned a touching tribute ... calling Toni "our conscience. Our seer. Our truth-teller." Oprah, of course, played the lead in "Beloved."
Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison is dead ... according to her publisher.
The critically acclaimed American writer -- perhaps best known for her 1987 best-seller, "Beloved" -- passed away Monday night surrounded by loved ones. Her publicist and publisher both confirmed the news, but didn't say anything about a cause of death.
Toni was a renowned figure in literature, with multiple novels under her belt that spoke to the African-American experience. "Beloved," "Jazz" and "Paradise" made up a loose trilogy -- with the first book being adapted into the 1998 film starring Oprah and Danny Glover.
Other notable works include "Song of Solomon," "The Bluest Eye" and "Sula."
Toni wrote 11 novels in her life, many non-fiction books, 5 children's books, two plays, two short fiction stories and one libretto. She also wrote several essays and university papers.
She won a Nobel Prize in literature in 1993 -- becoming the first African American woman to achieve the honor. President Obama also awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. On politics, she wrote an essay shortly after the election of Donald Trump for the New Yorker titled "Mourning for Whiteness," calling out white supremacy.
A documentary about Toni's life was made this year called "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am." She had two children -- her sons, Slade and Harold.