When you think of good editors—meaning solid in every capacity—think of Toni Morrison. Consider her nineteen years of experience at Random House. She was editing textbooks in the late ’60s before joining the big publisher. She became its senior editor and worked on the writings of Toni Cade Bambara, Gayle Jones, Angela Davis, Boris Bittker, Henry Dumas, Ivan Van Sertima, and so many other voices throughout the ’70s. In a burgeoning era, these were writers of movements. Their words would make African-American lives relevant in a world that was closed off to the very idea—Morrison included; for it was also a time when she launched her own literary career. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. She would continue to write and publish while still editing illuminating works for RH.
Publishers Weekly features a 2016 transcript of the Nobel Laureate talking about that time in her career.