Essay on The Life and Writings of Alice Walker

Essay on The Life and Writings of Alice Walker

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Alice Walker is an American author, novelist, short story writer, poet and political activist. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia on February 9, 1944, the youngest child of eight. Her parents, a sharecropper and a maid, had little money. At the age of eight, her right eye was scarred and caused her partial blindness because her parents were unable to take her to the doctor for a week. The blindness left her to become teased and bullied by classmates; she became withdrawn and began writing to escape daily ridicule. At age fourteen, the scar tissue was removed, but she continued to feel like an outcast regardless of her accomplishments. She became valedictorian of her high school and went on to attend Spelman College on a full scholarship. She later transferred to Sarah Lawrence College, graduating in 1965. While at Spelman, she became involved in the civil rights movement. Walker continued with the movement, registering black voters in rural Georgia and Mississippi. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence, she married Melvyn Leventhal in 1967, a white Jewish civil rights attorney. The couple’s daughter was born in 1969. They moved to Jackson, Mississippi, becoming the first legally married inter-racial couple in the state. Together they faced racism and many threats from the Ku Klux Klan and other whites. She finished her first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, in 1969 and it was published in 1970. When her marriage ended in 1977, Alice and her daughter moved to northern California. She still resides in northern California and continues to write today.
Walker often uses the theme of preserving African-American culture. An example of her culture preservation theme is strongly shown in the short story “E...

... middle of paper ...

...Alice. “Everyday Use.” Perrine’s Story & Structure, 13th Ed.
Ed. Helen Triller. Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012, 2009, 2006. 108-115. Print.

(, original source:
Walker, Alice. “The Flowers.” Reading and Writing about Short Fiction.
Ed. Edward Proffitt. NY: Harcourt, 1988. 404-405.

Walker's The Flowers.Full Text Available By: Loeb, Monica. Explicator, Fall96, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p60, 3p
Subjects: SHORT story (Literary form); CRITICISM; FLOWERS, The (Short story); WALKER, Alice, 1944-
Database: Academic Search Complete

National Humanities Center, 2007: In Alice Walker, In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women
(1967); reprint (paper) Harvest Books (Harcourt), 2003, pp. 3-9. Permission pending from Harcourt Inc.


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