Types of Authors

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There are many different types of authors in the world of literature, authors of horror, romance, suspense, and the type that Alice Walker writes, through personal experiences. Although most critics categorize her writings as feminist, Walker describes herself as a "womanist", she defines this as "a woman who loves other woman...Appreciates and prefers woman culture, woman's emotional flexibility... and woman's strength... Loves the spirit... Loves herself, Regardless". Walker's thoughts and feelings show through in her writing of poetry and novels. Alice Walker writes through her feelings and the morals that she has grown up with, she writes about the black woman's struggle for wholeness and sexual, political, and racial equality. Much of Walker's fiction comes from her Southern background. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia, a rural town where most blacks worked as farmers. At the age eight she was blinded in the right eye when an older brother accidentally shot her with a BB gun, after which she fell into a depression. She isolated herself from the other children, and as she explained, "I no longer felt like the little girl I was. I felt old, and because I felt I was unpleasant to look at, filled with shame. I retreated into solitude, and read stories and began to write poems." During this seclusion from other kids her age, Walker began to write poems. That’s when her career as a writer began. Despite this tragedy in her life and the feelings of inferiority, Walker became valedictorian of her class in high school and received a “rehabilitation scholarship” to attend Spelman. Spelman College was a college for black women in Atlanta, Georgia, not far from Walker’s home. While at Spelman, Walker became involved in civil rights demonstrations where she spoke out against the silence of the institution’s curriculum when it came to African-American culture and history. Her involvement in such activities led to her dismissal from the college. So she transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York and had the opportunity to travel to Africa as an exchange student. Upon her return, she received her bachelor of arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1965. She received a writing fellowship and was planning to spend it in Senegal, West Africa, but her plans changed when she decided to take ajob as a case worker in the New York City welfare department. Walker later moved to Tougaloo, Mississippi, during which time she became more involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

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