Nobel Prize-Winning Plant Thief

Protected Plants in a Private Garden in San Francisco

Private Garden in San Francisco

In a recent Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison reveals many things. I have been a fan of her writing since my first reading of Tar Baby. That book changed the way I read, and the way I read about women’s lives (and inconsequentially, changed the way I bathed. At one point the protagonist takes a shower with Neutrogena Rainbath, prompting me to develop an allegiance to this shower gel for the next decade). Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993 for her remarkable body of work, but what struck me most in her interview with Terry Gross was her confession that she is a bonafide plant thief! Lamenting the fire that destroyed her house and many of her belongings, she confessed to Gross that the one of the things she missed the most was her collection of plants, grown from cuttings she had stolen from other people’s’ plants! A woman after my own heart, that Toni Morrison.

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