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5. Masculine Heroes   

16. The Search For Identity

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
- Toni Cade Bambara
- Sandra Cisneros
- Judith Ortiz Cofer
- Leslie Feinberg
- Diane Glancy
- Maxine Hong Kingston
- David Mamet
- Toni Morrison
- Thomas Pynchon
- Alice Walker
- Suggested
•  Timeline
•  Activities

Authors: Alice Walker (b. 1944)

Congress to Unite Women, May 1, 2, 3, '70: Intermediate School, 333 W. 17 St., N.Y.C.
[6187] Anonymous, Congress to Unite Women, May 1, 2, 3, '70: Intermediate School, 333 W. 17 St., N.Y.C. (1970), courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Alice Walker Activities
This link leads to artifacts, teaching tips and discussion questions for this author.
Born in rural Eatonton, Georgia, but educated in the North, Alice Walker has been able to analyze the rural South, the focus of most of her writing, as both an insider and an outsider. In her works, which include novels, short stories, poetry collections, and essays, she has drawn inspiration from her own life experiences, including an abortion and a visit to Africa while she was attending Sarah Lawrence College. Walker also participated actively in the civil rights movement, during which she met civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal. After she and Leventhal married, they fought discrimination against their interracial relationship. As a professor at Wellesley College, Walker taught one of the first women's studies courses in the nation, and she has been integral in bringing greater attention and appreciation to the work of early-twentieth-century anthropologist and writer Zora Neale Hurston, who, like Walker, skillfully wove folk materials into her narratives.

Walker won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for her best-known novel, 1982's The Color Purple, which in 1985 was transformed into a successful movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. In The Color Purple, Celie, an African American woman, learns to assert her rights in relationship to her husband and comes to terms with her desire for another woman, Shug. While Walker has sought to describe black women's struggles to find agency and self-determination, she was criticized for too harshly portraying black men in the novel, a charge that shocked and dismayed her.

Walker's works include In Love and Trouble (1973), Meridian (1976), In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens (1983), and Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992).

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