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Alice Malsenior Tallulah-Kate Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American author, poet, and activist. She is best known for writing The Color Purple, a highly influential novel and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1983.

Born in Eatonton, Georgia to sharecroppers, Walker was the youngest of eight children. When she was eight years old, she was permanently blinded in her right eye due to a BB gun injury. Since she could not do chores, her mother gave her a typewriter and from that point, Walker's interest in reading and writing grew. She was valedictorian at her high school, and attended Spelman College for two years before transferring to Sarah Lawrence College on scholarship. It was there that she had her first work published, a poem collection titled Once.

After college, Walker became involved in the Civil Rights Movement, working for the NAACP and teaching while still writing. She had her first novel published, The Third Life of Grange Copeland as well as more poem collections. In 1982, Walker published The Color Purple, what would become her famous and well-regarded novel, a novel about the coming of age and life of a black woman in rural Georgia. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983, and would later be adapted into a film and musical.

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Walker continues to write to this day, and known as one of the great contemporary American writers, as well as being an activist and feminist; she coined the term "womanist," a term to describe a black feminist or a feminist of color.


Works

Fiction

  • The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970)
  • In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973, includes "Everyday Use")
  • Meridian (1976)
  • The Color Purple (1982)
  • You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories (1982)
  • To Hell With Dying (1988)
  • The Temple of My Familiar (1989)
  • Finding the Green Stone (1991)
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992)
  • The Complete Stories (1994)
  • By the Light of My Father's Smile (1998)
  • The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart (2000)
  • Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart (2004)

Poem collections

  • ''Once (1968)
  • Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems (1973)
  • Good Night, Willie Lee, I'll See You in the Morning (1979)
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  • Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful (1985)
  • Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems (1991)
  • Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth (2003)
  • A Poem Traveled Down My Arm: Poems And Drawings (2003)
  • Collected Poems (2005)
  • Hard Times Require Furious Dancing: New Poems (2010)
  • Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (2018)

Non-Fiction

  • In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983)
  • Living by the Word (1988)
  • Warrior Marks (1993)
  • The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (1996)
  • Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer's Activism (1997)
  • Go Girl!: The Black Woman's Book of Travel and Adventure (1997)
  • Pema Chodron and Alice Walker in Conversation (1999)
  • Sent By Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit After the Bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon (2001)
  • We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For (2006)
  • Overcoming Speechlessness (2010)
  • Chicken Chronicles, A Memoir (2011)
  • The cushion in the road - Meditation and wandering as the whole world awakens to be in harm's way (2013)

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