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Author photo. Photographed at BookPeople in Austin, Texas by Frank Arnold

Photographed at BookPeople in Austin, Texas by Frank Arnold

Alice Walker (1)

This page covers the author of The Color Purple.

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

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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 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) — biography from The Color Purple… (more)
The Color Purple 18,565 copies, 329 reviews
The Temple of My Familiar 2,351 copies, 21 reviews
Possessing the Secret of Joy 2,134 copies, 34 reviews
Meridian 1,255 copies, 12 reviews
You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down 823 copies, 8 reviews
By the Light of My Father's Smile 734 copies, 9 reviews
The Third Life of Grange Copeland 712 copies, 6 reviews
Revolutionary Petunias 200 copies, 1 review
Why War Is Never a Good Idea 186 copies, 27 reviews
Once: Poems 149 copies, 2 reviews
To Hell with Dying 130 copies, 4 reviews
The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir 125 copies, 5 reviews
Langston Hughes: American Poet 113 copies, 15 reviews
Finding the Green Stone 88 copies, 3 reviews
Everyday Use 71 copies
The Complete Stories 49 copies, 2 reviews
Collected Poems 17 copies
Gardening the Soul 7 copies, 1 review
The Sweet Abyss 4 copies, 1 review
Barracoon: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" (Foreword) 1,411 copies, 65 reviews
Mules and Men (Contributor, some editions) 1,017 copies, 11 reviews
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (Contributor, some editions) 880 copies, 7 reviews
The Best American Essays of the Century (Contributor) 736 copies, 4 reviews
Cane [Norton Critical Edition] (Contributor) 462 copies, 6 reviews
The Complete Stories (Contributor, some editions) 441 copies, 2 reviews
Jonah's Gourd Vine (Contributor, some editions) 403 copies, 5 reviews
Points of View: Revised Edition (Contributor) 395 copies, 5 reviews
Women & Fiction: Short Stories By and About Women (Contributor) 355 copies, 7 reviews
But Some of Us Are Brave (Contributor) 340 copies, 1 review
The Portable Sixties Reader (Contributor) 311 copies, 3 reviews
The Color Purple [1985 film] (Novel) 275 copies, 7 reviews
The Black Woman: An Anthology (Contributor) 222 copies, 1 review
We Are the Stories We Tell (Contributor) 189 copies, 1 review
Eight Modern Essayists (some editions) 168 copies, 2 reviews
Erotique Noire/Black Erotica (Contributor) 153 copies, 1 review
The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories (Contributor) 118 copies, 1 review
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (Contributor) 114 copies
Poems from the Women's Movement (Contributor) 104 copies
A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer (Contributor) 102 copies, 1 review
Black Women Writers at Work (Contributor) 101 copies, 1 review
American Short Stories (Contributor, some editions) 87 copies
The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (Foreword, some editions) 75 copies, 3 reviews
The Audre Lorde Compendium: Essays, Speeches, and Journals (Introduction, some editions) 25 copies
Wild Women (Contributor) 23 copies, 1 review
The Other Woman: Stories of Two Women and a Man (Contributor) 18 copies, 2 reviews
Encounters: Essays for Exploration and Inquiry (Contributor, some editions) 17 copies
The Best American Short Stories 1974 (Contributor) 10 copies
Bittersweet (Contributor) 10 copies
Amerika, Amerika bloemlezing (Contributor) 8 copies
20th century (331) abuse (192) Africa (214) African American (1,409) African American literature (220) African Americans (211) African-American Literature (246) Alice Walker (270) American (318) American literature (518) American South (135) anthology (1,058) biography (171) classic (258) classics (286) essays (745) family (135) feminism (791) fiction (4,487) historical fiction (342) history (254) literature (834) memoir (171) non-fiction (815) novel (554) own (177) poetry (1,205) Pulitzer Prize (232) race (347) racism (335) read (440) short stories (1,061) slavery (214) spirituality (144) to-read (2,157) unread (250) USA (216) women (862) women's studies (323) writing (188)

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