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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Falling for imagination

“I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.” – Alice Walker

Novelist, short story writer, poet, and activist, Walker was born on this date in 1944 the daughter of a poor Georgia farm family.  Growing up with an oral tradition, listening to stories from her grandfather (who was the model for the character of Mr. in her award-winning book The Color Purple), Walker began school at age 4 and writing at age 8.

She wrote the critically acclaimed Color Purple in 1982 and rocketed to fame.   The book won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was made into an Academy Award-winning movie, and ultimately did a 3-year run as a play on Broadway.   The story follows a young troubled  
                          black woman fighting her way through not just racist white culture but patriarchal black culture as well.

Walker actually started her writing career as a short story writer and poet and had her first book of poetry published while still in college.  In addition to her writing, she’s been a leading figure on behalf of Civil and Equal Rights in both the U.S. and internationally and has been awarded a major international awards recognizing her work on behalf of human rights and peace initiatives.
“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter,” she said.   “I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for.”

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