Author Gloria Naylor Has Passed Away at Age 66

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Gloria Naylor, author of several books including The Women of Brewster Place and Mama Day, has died at 66, reports Ebony Magazine.

Naylor's sister Bernice Harrison confirmed that the author died on Sept. 28 after she suffered a heart attack and could not be revived by medical professionals.

Naylor won a National Book Award for 'Brewster Place.' The book was turned into a miniseries produced by Oprah's Harpo Productions. It starred Cicely Tyson, Oprah Winfrey, Jackée Harry, Robin Givens, and Lynn Whitfield. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1985 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988.
Naylor was born to sharecroppers in Mississippi. When she won the National Book Award for first novel, she dedicated the prize to her mother. “I wrote that book as a tribute to her and other black woman who, in spite of the very limited personal circumstances, somehow manage to hold a fierce belief in the limitless possibilities of the human spirit,” Naylor said.

Naylor earned her B.A. in English from Brooklyn College, and a master’s in African-American Studies from Yale. She later taught writing at a number of universities, including New York University and Cornell.

Naylor had been living and working for some time in the Virgin Islands, where she died.