The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer prize winner for penning Beloved and a mentor to millions, among many other things, Toni Morrison lived unapologetically but with unmatched empathy, intelligence and insightfulness. She famously told Terry Gross (of NPR’s Fresh Air) that she “regret[s] everything” about her life. She explained in a 2015 interview, “Now that I’m 84, I remember everything as a mistake, and I regret everything. It’s not profound regret. It’s just a wiping-up of tiny, little messes that you didn’t recognize as a mess when they were going on.” If nothing else, Morrison’s readings are life lessons in their own right: beautiful balancing acts of life’s light and darkness. The world mourns her passing. Read, or listen to, the full 2015 interview at NPR.