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Alice Walker is a highly praised author, respected educator, and devoted activist. She is perhaps most famous for her novel, THE COLOR PURPLE, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize. The novel, which addresses such issues as incest, domestic violence, and sisterly devotion, was made into a popular movie in 1985. Walker has been criticized for her negative portrayal of black men, and she in turn criticizes the societal blindness of the violent conditions which affect women of all color. She has become an outspoken advocate against female genital mutilation, a common custom in many African cultures. Most recently she has become involved with Buddhism.

Walker found her love of books at a young age when a gunshot wound left her blinded in one eye. She responded to feelings of alienation by retreating to a world of books and her own imagination. As a college student she became involved in the Black Nationalist movement of the 1960s which advocated economic success within the African American community. It also sought the creation of an African American nation. Since then she has been active in the women's movement, the anti-apartheid movement, and the anti-nuclear movement. She currently lives in Northern California.


1944 She was born in Eatonton, Georgia.

1952 A childhood accident left her blinded in one eye.

1961 She entered Spelman College.

1964 She traveled to Uganda, Africa.

1965 She received her B.A. From Sarah Lawrence College.

1967 She married Melvin Leventhal, a white civil rights lawyer.

1968 ONCE was published.

1969 She gave birth to her daughter, Rebecca.



1976 MERIDIAN was published.; She and Melvin Leventhal divorced.

1977 She was appointed Associate Professor at Yale University.

1978 She received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

1979 She moved to Northern California.

1981 YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD WOMAN DOWN was published.

1982 THE COLOR PURPLE was published.

1983 She won the Pulitzer Prize for THE COLOR PURPLE.; "In Search of Our Mother's Gardens" was published.

1984 She cofounded Wild Tree Press.

1985 THE COLOR PURPLE was made into a movie. HORSES MAKE A LANDSCAPE LOOK MORE BEAUTIFUL was published.

1988 LIVING BY THE WORLD:SELECTED WRITINGS 1973-1987 was published.

1989 THE TEMPLE OF MY FAMILIAR was published.

1992 POSSESSING THE SECRET OF JOY was published.

1998 BY THE LIGHT OF MY FATHER'S SMILE was published.