Alice Walker, best known for her novel The Color Purple, was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1944.  She was the daughter of African American sharecroppers.

At four-years-old Alice’s mother enrolled her in school to keep her out of the cotton fields. Alice’s teachers recognized her literary talents, and within four years Alice retreated completely into books and writing.

Alice graduated as valedictorian of her high school class in Eatonton, Georgia. She continued her education at Spelman College, and then transferred to Sarah Lawrence College for her junior and senior years.

After graduation, she worked for the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.  A strong writer, her powerful novels and poetry reflected her life-long experiences, creating strong awareness of racial inequality and social justice.

Alice resides in northern California and continues her writing and speaking engagements, still today.

Virtual Mini Tour

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  • Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship (1967)
  • The Rosenthal Award from the National Institute of Arts & Letters (1967)
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the novel The Color Purple (1983)
  • National Book Award for Fiction for The Color Purple (1983)
  • O. Henry Award for Short Fiction for Kindred Spirits (1985)
  • Honorary Degree from the California Institute of the Arts (1995)
  • Named by the American Humanist Association as “Humanist of the Year” (1997)
  • The Front-Page Award for Best Magazine Criticism from the Newswoman’s Club of New York (2000)
  • Inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame (2001)
  • Induction into the California Hall of Fame in The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts (2006)
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature (2019)


  • Alice Walker: A Life by Evelyn White (2004)
  • Alice Walker: A Critical Companion by Gerri Bates (2005)
  • About Alice by Calvin Trillin (2006)
  • Alice Walker by Harold Bloom (2007)
  • The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker edited by Rudolph Byrd, (2012)



  • The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970)
  • Meridian (1976)
  • The Color Purple (1982)
  • The Temple of My Familiar (1990)
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992)
  • By the Light of My Father’s Smile (1998)
  • Now is the Time to Open Your Heart (2004)

Short Fiction

  • You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down (1971)
  • In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women (1973)
  • Alice Walker: Banned (1996)
  • The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart (2000)

Essays and Prose

  • I Love Myself When I Am Laughing (1979)
  • In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens (1983)
  • Living by the Word (1988)
  • Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women (with Pratibha Parmar) (1993)
  • The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult (1996)
  • Anything We Love Can Be Saved (1997)
  • Overcoming Speechlessness (2010)
  • Sent By Earth (2011)
  • The Chicken Chronicles (2011)
  • The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering as the Whole World Awakens to Being in Harm’s Way (2014)


  • Once (1968)
  • Revolutionary Petunias (1973)
  • Good Night, Willie Lee, I’ll See You in the Morning (1978)
  • Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful (1984)
  • Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete (1991)
  • Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth (2003)
  • A Poem Traveled Down My Arm (2003)
  • Hard Times Require Furious Dancing (2010)
  • The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers (2013)
  • Taking the Arrow Out of My Heart (2018)

Books for Children

  • To Hell with Dying (1988)
  • Finding the Green Stone (1991)
  • Why War Is Never a Good Idea (2007)
  • There is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me (2016)