Alice Malsenior Walker
Date of Birth: February 9, 1944
Place of Birth: Eatonton, GA
Parents: Willie Lee Walker & Minnie Tallulah Grant
Education: High School
(Graduted 1961, Valedictorian)
Children: Daughter, Rebecca Walker, born 1969
Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton, GA. She was the
eighth child of Willie Lee Walker and Minnie Tallulah Grant Walker. At the age
of eight, she lost sight in one of her eyes when her brother accidentally shot her
while playing. She graduated high school as the Valedictorian of her class, and
went on to attend college at Spelman College in Georgia. Two years later, in
1963, she transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, where she received
her bachelor of arts degree.
In 1964, Walker traveled to Uganda, Africa as an exchange student. Upon her return to the United States, she found out that she was pregnant. She opted to have an abortion mostly in order to avoid disappointing her parents. During this time she wrote volumes of poetry to cope. In 1965, Alice Walker received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She wrote a short story, "To Hell With Dying," based on her experience with the abortion. Her mentor Muriel Ruykeser sent the story to a publisher and to Langston Hughes. Her story was published and she received a handwritten note of encouragement from Langston Hughes. (Resource)
After finishing college, Walker lived for a short time in New York. From the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s, she lived in Tougaloo, Mississippi. She 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 1969.
In 1982, her third book was published, The Color Purple, which received a Pulitzer Prize in 1983. Alice Walker started her own publishing company, Wild Trees Press, in 1984. In 1989 and 1992, in two books, The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy, Walker took on the issue of female circumcision in Africa.
Page created by: Clint Kinsey