"The Color Purple" is a 1982 novel written by Alice Walker. The novel is told in an epistolary style, through the usage of 90 different letters written by the characters. In 1983, the book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. Several years later in 1985, it was adapted […]
Alice Walker was born in Putnam County, Georgia on February 9th, 1944. One of eight children, Walker was the daughter of a sharecropper and a maid. Growing up in the southern U.S. in the mid-20th century, Walker was subject to racial inequality and struggled to be allowed to stay in school. Walker's mother, Minnie Lou enrolled her in school early and fought every day to make sure that she got to stay.
Walker began writing when she was only eight years old but kept her stories private for fear of ridicule from her family. That same year, Walker was wounded when her brother shot her in the eye with a BB gun. She became permanently blinded in the eye. Regardless of her injury, Walker became very popular in school and attended Spelman College in Atlanta in 1961. Walker became heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's and was involved in the 1963 March on Washington.
In 1967, she married Melvyn Roseman Leventhal, a civil rights lawyer and the two became the first legally married interracial couple to live in Mississippi. They had a daughter named Rebecca in 1969 but later divorced.
In 1970, Walker's first novel "The Third Life of Grange Copeland' was published. In the mid-1970's, Walker joined the editorial division of Ms. Magazine and was one of the leading scholars who helped to revive interest in the late African-American author Zora Neale Hurston. Walker and fellow Hurston lover Charlotte D. Hunt were responsible for discovering Hurston's unmarked grave site in Florida and arranging for a new headstone.
Walker's second novel, "Meridian" was published in 1976 and dealt with the effects of the Civil Rights Movement on activists in the south. "The Color Purple", Walker's most well-known work, was published in 1982 and a movie of the same name was made in 1985. The movie went on to be nominated for eleven Academy Awards.
Walker published several more novels, as well as a sequel to "The Color Purple" called "Possessing the Secret of Joy" but none were as well-received. Walker has also published several short story collections and poetry and released new novels as recently as 2013. Walker's writing focus heavily on themes of sexism and racism and specifically on the lives of black women in America.