Alice Walker: Her novel, The Color of Purple, won the Pulitzer Prize

From The Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of Alice Walker, born in 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia. She was the youngest of eight children, the daughter of sharecroppers. She graduated first in her high school class and won a scholarship to Spelman College.

She transferred to Sarah Lawrence after two years, and a short story she wrote there was sent to Langston Hughes, who became an early champion of her writing. In 1968, she published her first collection of poetry, Once, and in 1970 her first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, about a family of sharecroppers in the 1920s.

Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, she had a modest following; it wasn’t until her third novel, The Color Purple (1982), won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, that her work reached a much larger audience. She once wrote, “Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.” Her latest work is a compilation of her journals, Gathering Blossoms Under Fire (2020).

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