Skip to Main Content

African American Women Writers

Alice Walker (1944- ) is one of the most significant and outspoken black women writers in the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. She is best known for her novels, particularly The Color Purple (1982) which won the Pulitzer Prize, but she also writes poetry, short stories, essays and autobiographical pieces. Walker's fiction concentrates on the perspective and experiences of African-American women, particularly in the rural South. She has often met with controversy, for she has been revolutionary in offering a critique of both white racism and black patriarchy and misogyny. Indeed, much of her writing explores life within African-American communities rather than directly addressing their experiences with white society. Walker's fiction is predominantly realist, but this is sometimes interwoven with spiritual and supernatural elements. She tends to avoid linear narratives and other conventions that she feels are part of white Western literary traditions. Instead, her work shows the influence of nineteenth-century slave narratives as well as that of black folklore and the culture of oral storytelling. 

Genre: Autobiographies and memoirs; Literary fiction; Southern fiction

More about Alice Walker at ProQuest One Literature

By Alice Walker

About Alice Walker