The family added: "While we would like to thank everyone who knew and loved her, personally or through her work, for their support at this difficult time, we ask for privacy as we mourn this loss to our family.
"We will share information in the near future about how we will celebrate Toni's incredible life."
Her long-time editor Robert Gottlieb from Knopf publishers, said: "She was a great woman and a great writer, and I don't know which I will miss more."
And Sonny Mehta, the chairman of Knopf, said: " I can think of few writers in American letters who wrote with more humanity or with more love for language than Toni.
"Her narratives and mesmerising prose have made an indelible mark on our culture. Her novels command and demand our attention.
Toni Morrison's fiction novels
The Bluest Eye, 1970
Song of Solomon, 1977
Tar Baby, 1981
A Mercy, 2008
God Help the Child, 2015
"They are canonical works, and more importantly, they are books that remain beloved by readers."
When she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy described her as an author "who in novels characterised by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."