Alice Walker, best known perhaps as the author of The Color Purple, was the eighth child of Georgia sharecroppers. After a childhood accident blinded her in one eye, she went on to become valedictorian of her local school, and attend Spelman College and Sarah Lawrence College on scholarships, graduating in 1965.

Alice Walker volunteered in the voter registration drives of the 1960s in Georgia, and went to work after college in the Welfare Department in New York City. Alice Walker married in 1967 (and divorced in 1976). Her first book of poems came out in 1968 and her first novel just after her daughter’s birth in 1970.

Alice Walker’s early poems, novels and short stories dealt with themes familiar to readers of her later works: rape, violence, isolation, troubled relationships, multi-generational perspectives, sexism and racism. Her work has explored the lives of Langston Hughes & Zora Neale Hurston as well as two books exploring the issue of female circumcision in Africa among many other topics.

She currently travels in promotion of environmental protection, women’s rights and issues of economic justice.

“…it has taken these years to unburden my life of many of the things I used to worry about: my papers, my bills, my persona, the writer’s life. The process of clearing is on-going, as I now enter a period, perhaps the last phase of my life, which will be fundamentally dedicated to Wandering and Meditation. I feel in my bones the connection to the Ancients who have, through the ages, spontaneously shed as much as possible of their worldly concerns and have taken to the road, the hillside, the kitchen or hammock, or to meditating alone or with others as they move slowly about the earth, identifying only the present moment as home.”

Personal website:

Alice Walker

Other websites:


Once (Poems)
The Third Life of Grange Copeland
In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women
Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems
Langston Hughes: American Poet (editor)
Good Night, Willie Lee, I’ll See You in the Morning
I Love Myself When I Am Laughing… & Then Again When I Am Looking Mean & Impressive (editor)
You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down: Stories
The Color Purple
In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose
Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful
To Hell With Dying
Living by the Word
The Temple of My Familiar
Finding the Green Stone
Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems
Possessing the Secret of Joy
Warrior Marks
The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult
Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer’s Activism
By the Light of My Father’s Smile