France honors 'beloved' novelist Toni Morrison

Novelist Toni Morrison, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature, smiles as she is warmly received by the audience moments before giving the Radcliffe Inaugural Lecture on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., Tuesday, April 3, 2001. The lecture by Morrison helped commemorate the founding of the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study within Harvard University. Morrison is considered by many to be America's pre-eminent black woman writer. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

November 3, 2010 7:49:53 AM PDT
France's culture minister has inducted Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison into the Legion of Honor.

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.