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Alice Walker Discussion and Writing Analysis

Alice Walker

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 with, she writes about the black woman's struggle for spiritual wholeness and sexual, political, and racial equality.

Much of Walker's fiction is informed by her Southern background. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia, a rural town where most blacks worked as tenant 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 somewhat of a depression. She secluded 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." In 1961 Walker won a scholarship to Spelman College in Atlanta, where she became involved in the civil rights movement and participated in sit-ins at local business establishments. She transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, graduating from there in 1965. She met her future husband Melvyn Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights attorney, in Mississippi where she was an activist and teacher. In 1967 Walker and Leventhal married, becoming the first legally married interracial couple to reside in Jackson, the state capital, they had one child together one year after they got married, named Rebecca . They divorced in 1976. Since then Walker has focused more on her writing and has taught at various colleges and universities.

Walker is one of the most prolific black women writers in America. Her work consistently reflects her concern with racial, sexual, and political issues-particularly with black woman's struggle for survival. She explained, "The black woman is one of America's greatest heroes….Not enough credit has been given to the black woman who has been oppressed beyond recognition." Walker's insistence on giving black women their due resulted in...

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