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Alice Walker (1) (1944–)

Author of The Color Purple

For other authors named Alice Walker, see the disambiguation page.

85+ Works 36,548 Members 580 Reviews 23 Favorited

About the Author

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for her novel The Color Purple. Her other bestselling novels include By the Light of My Father's Smile, Possessing the Secret of Joy, and The Temple of My Familiar. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, three show more collections of essays, five volumes of poetry, and several children's books. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Born in Eaton, Georgia, Walker now lives in Northern California. Like so many characters in her fiction, Alice Walker was born into a family of sharecroppers in Eaton, Georgia. She began Spelman College on a scholarship and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1965. While still in college, Walker became active in the civil rights movement and continued her involvement after she graduated, serving as a voter registration worker in Georgia. She also worked in a Head Start program in Mississippi and was on the staff of the New York City welfare department. She has lectured and taught at several colleges and universities and currently operates a publishing house, Wild Trees Press, of which she is a co-founder. Walker began her literary career as a poet, publishing Once: Poems in 1968. The collection reflects her experiences in the civil rights movement and her travels in Africa. Her second collection of poetry, Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems (1973), is a celebration of the struggle against oppression and racism. In between these two collections, she published her first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), the story of Ruth Copeland, a young black girl, and her grandfather, Grange, who brutalizes his own family out of the frustrations of racial prejudice and his own sense of inadequacy. Walker's first collection of short stories, In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973), established her special concern for the struggles, hardships, loyalties, and triumphs of black women, a powerful force in the rest of her fiction. Meridian (1976), her second novel, is the story of Meridian Hill, a civil rights worker. In her second collection of short stories, You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down (1981), Walker again portrays black women struggling against sexual, racial, and economic oppression. Walker's third novel, The Color Purple (1982), brought her the national recognition denied her earlier works. Through this story of the sharecropper Celie and the abuses she endures, Walker draws together the themes that have run through her earlier work into a concentrated and powerful attack on racism and sexism, and produces a triumphant celebration of the spirit and endurance of black women. The book received the Pulitzer Prize and was made into a successful film. Walker describes her most recent novel, The Temple of My Familiar (1989) as "a romance of the last 500,000 years." The book is a blend of myth and history revolving around three marriages. As the married couples tell their stories, they explore both their origins and the inner life of modern African Americans. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photographed at BookPeople in Austin, Texas by Frank Arnold

Series

Works by Alice Walker

The Color Purple (1982) 19,876 copies
The Temple of My Familiar (1989) 2,446 copies
Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992) 2,228 copies
Meridian (1976) 1,307 copies
Living by the Word (1988) 365 copies
Revolutionary Petunias (1973) 206 copies
Why War Is Never a Good Idea (2007) 200 copies
Once: Poems (1976) 158 copies
To Hell with Dying (1967) 136 copies
Finding the Green Stone (1611) 89 copies
Everyday Use (1973) 82 copies
Alice Walker Banned (1996) 54 copies
The Complete Stories (1994) 53 copies
Collected Poems (2005) 17 copies
Alice Walker Poetry (1985) 11 copies
Gardening the Soul (2000) 7 copies
Moeders en dochters (1988) 6 copies
My Life As My Self (1995) 4 copies
The Sweet Abyss (2004) 4 copies
Följeslagaren (1990) 3 copies
Zugvögel (2002) 2 copies
Am I Blue 1 copy

Associated Works

Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" (2018) — Foreword — 1,691 copies
Mules and Men (1935) — Contributor, some editions — 1,104 copies
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 929 copies
The Best American Essays of the Century (2000) — Contributor — 784 copies
Cane [Norton Critical Edition] (1988) — Contributor — 496 copies
The Complete Stories (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 473 copies
Jonah's Gourd Vine (1934) — Contributor, some editions — 430 copies
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Contributor — 417 copies
Points of View: Revised Edition (1966) — Contributor — 416 copies
Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women's Spirituality (2000) — Contributor — 375 copies
Women & Fiction: Short Stories By and About Women (1975) — Contributor — 367 copies
Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality (1989) — Contributor — 360 copies
But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies (1982) — Contributor — 358 copies
Literature: The Human Experience (2006) — Contributor — 341 copies
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contributor — 330 copies
The Color Purple [1985 film] (1985) — Novel — 316 copies
Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (1983) — Contributor — 278 copies
The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970) — Contributor — 239 copies
We Are the Stories We Tell (1990) — Contributor — 196 copies
Eight Modern Essayists (1980) — some editions — 179 copies
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (2020) — Contributor — 177 copies
Erotique Noire/Black Erotica (1991) — Contributor — 160 copies
Murder & Other Acts of Literature (1997) — Contributor — 149 copies
Black Women Writers at Work (1983) — Contributor — 130 copies
No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (1973) — Contributor — 124 copies
Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals (1998) — Contributor — 123 copies
The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories (1991) — Contributor — 121 copies
Black on White: Black Writers on What It Means to Be White (1998) — Contributor — 120 copies
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contributor — 119 copies
Deep Down: The New Sensual Writing by Women (1988) — Contributor — 116 copies
Downhome: An Anthology of Southern Women Writers (1995) — Contributor — 116 copies
The Penguin Book of International Women's Stories (1996) — Contributor — 115 copies
Poems from the Women's Movement (2009) — Contributor — 109 copies
A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer (2007) — Contributor — 105 copies
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributor — 99 copies
American Short Stories (1976) — Contributor, some editions — 95 copies
Tenderheaded: A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair Stories (2001) — Contributor — 92 copies
Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About Race (1995) — Contributor — 90 copies
The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (2012) — Foreword, some editions — 90 copies
Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black Women (1994) — Contributor — 81 copies
Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation (1984) — Contributor — 79 copies
It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art (2018) — Contributor — 75 copies
Memory of Kin: Stories About Family by Black Writers (1990) — Contributor — 65 copies
Without a Guide: Contemporary Women's Travel Adventures (1994) — Contributor — 61 copies
The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story (2021) — Contributor — 56 copies
The Literary Lover: Great Stories of Passion and Romance (1993) — Contributor — 51 copies
Revenge: Short Stories by Women Writers (1990) — Contributor — 49 copies
Sisterfire: Black Womanist Fiction and Poetry (1994) — Contributor — 46 copies
Mouths of Rain: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought (2021) — Contributor — 41 copies
Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America (2003) — Contributor — 40 copies
The Secret Self: A Century of Short Stories by Women (1995) — Contributor — 34 copies
The Audre Lorde Compendium: Essays, Speeches, and Journals (1809) — Introduction, some editions — 26 copies
Wild Women (1854) — Contributor — 23 copies
Confirmation: An Anthology of African American Women (1983) — Contributor — 22 copies
Almost Touching the Skies: Women's Coming of Age Stories (2000) — Contributor — 21 copies
Go Girl! The Black Woman's Book of Travel and Adventure (1997) — Contributor — 20 copies
The Other Woman: Stories of Two Women and a Man (1993) — Contributor — 18 copies
Encounters: Essays for Exploration and Inquiry (1999) — Contributor, some editions — 18 copies
A Portrait of Southern Writers: Photographs (2000) — Contributor — 13 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1974 (1974) — Contributor — 12 copies
Of Leaf and Flower: Stories and Poems for Gardeners (2001) — Contributor — 11 copies
Bittersweet (1998) — Contributor — 10 copies
America's Original Sin: A Study Guide on White Racism (1994) — Contributor — 10 copies
Amerika, Amerika bloemlezing — Contributor — 8 copies
These Hands I Know: African-American Writers on Family (2002) — Contributor — 8 copies
Other Nations: Animals in Modern Literature (2010) — Contributor — 3 copies
Enjoying Stories (1987) — Contributor — 2 copies
The Bitter Southerner Magazine, Issue 2 — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

20th century (351) abuse (191) Africa (221) African American (1,452) African American literature (216) African Americans (211) African-American Literature (239) Alice Walker (255) American (330) American literature (531) American South (138) anthology (1,092) biography (183) classic (266) classics (320) essays (760) family (138) feminism (834) fiction (4,587) historical fiction (362) history (282) literature (860) memoir (181) non-fiction (847) novel (574) own (182) poetry (1,227) Pulitzer Prize (237) race (361) racism (349) read (460) short stories (1,087) slavery (227) spirituality (152) to-read (2,441) unread (264) USA (233) women (886) women's studies (329) writing (197)

Common Knowledge

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Reviews

Novel using letters written by Celie to God and then between Celie and her sister Nellie.
½
 
Flagged
podocyte | 341 other reviews | Jun 1, 2024 |
When I started this novel, I wasn't sure I could get into it due to the dialect and the pacing, but the emotions of the characters shone through to me until I couldn't put it down. The multifacetedness of all the relationships really struck my heart, and I loved Walker's handling of deep abstract topics such as love, God, and spirituality in a framework that was very true to her characters' lives.
 
Flagged
AngelReadsThings | 341 other reviews | Jun 1, 2024 |
Ein wirklich erschütterndes Buch über eine Frau, die sich nur schwer aus den Krallen eines Systems befreien kann, um sich selbst und ihre Freiheit zu finden.
 
Flagged
RoXXieSiXX | 341 other reviews | May 20, 2024 |
The Color Purple is a beautiful book, full of interesting, complicated characters. Celie goes through so many horrible things, and she makes herself so small in order to protect herself, but she is tougher than she realized when she was young and eventually she realizes how strong she truly is.

The parts that I liked the least were Nettie's letters (and there were a lot of them). They were very interesting, but I think that they don't fit well with the rest of the book.
 
Flagged
zeronetwo | 341 other reviews | May 14, 2024 |

Lists

AP Lit (1)
Read (1)
100 (1)
1980s (1)

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Samira Wiley Narrator
Brad Teare Illustrator
Kersti Juva Translator
Kiese Laymon Foreword
Paula Reis Translator
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Helga Pfetsch Translator
Marisa Caramella Translator
Kerstin Hallén Translator
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Bascove Cover artist
Jennifer Hewitson Illustrator
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Tayari Jones Introduction
Gerhard Döhler Translator
Cathy Felstead Cover artist
Judith Kazdym Leeds Cover artist
Ben Denzer Cover designer

Statistics

Works
85
Also by
124
Members
36,548
Popularity
#503
Rating
4.0
Reviews
580
ISBNs
603
Languages
20
Favorited
23

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