In a ceremony Wednesday in a gilded hall in the Paris ministry, Frederic Mitterrand pinned a red and gold medal onto the celebrated U.S. author's jacket as a scrum of photographers snapped away.
Mitterrand callsMorrison, whose 1987 novel "Beloved" won her international acclaim, "the greatest American novelist of her time."
Morrison says the award showed that "in addition to being welcomed" in France, she's "prized."
She was made an officer in the Legion of Honor. Created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the legion recognizes military, cultural, scientific or social contributions to France.