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Nobel laureate Toni Morrison kicks off Annan's lecture series

Nobel laureate Toni Morrison kicks off Annan's lecture series

Toni Morrison
Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison today kicked off a lecture series inaugurated by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to strengthen the sense of community among those who work at the world body's Headquarters in New York.

In his introductory remarks, the Secretary-General said the lectures were designed to bring in speakers from a wide range of disciplines and regions to discuss issues of interest that extended beyond the normal work done at the UN, such as the natural sciences and humanities.

"I thought it would be good if from time to time we could come together to hear someone talk about one of those issues - someone we can all learn from; someone who will stimulate all of us to think and to discuss," Mr. Annan said to an audience comprising members of national delegations, UN staff and accredited representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

In introducing Ms. Morrison, a fellow Nobel Laureate, as the series' first speaker, the Secretary-General noted "if there is one Nobel Prize that all other prize-winners should envy, it is that Prize for Literature."

"Literature has the power to transform us in ways that politics never can," he explained. "And few writers have demonstrated that power more magically than Toni Morrison, in her wonderful novels."