Purple flowers
Appalachian wildflowers ©Author Adventures

Alice Walker

Best-selling contemporary author Alice Walker (1944- ) grew up in Georgia, just south of Atlanta in Eatonton, which is approximately 20 minutes north of Milledgeville where Flannery O’Connor spent her final years. The places of Walker’s modest life stand in striking contrast to the stately homes of Milledgeville.

Eatonton has a population of approximately 6,600 residents.

Read about the popular novelist, poet, and children’s book author here: https://www.biography.com/writer/alice-walker.

The Color Purple

Walker is a prolific author best known for The Color Purple, a social commentary fictional story published in a diary format in 1982 and set from 1909 to 1949 in the South. The book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 and was made into a feature film in 1986 directed by Steven Spielberg and that starred Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, and Margaret Avery. The soundtrack was composed by Quincy Jones. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and is one of only two feature films to receive so many nominations without a win.

A video of interviews about the making of the movie can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoEjMlNh5mU.

In addition to her literary work, Walker is known for rejuvenating interest in the work of Zora Neale Hurston. A YouTube video of her speaking about her efforts can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com.

The Homestead

A map of important places to Walker’s upbringing can be picked up at the Eatonton Chamber of Commerce office (305 N. Madison Avenue) during weekday business hours. Additional information for a driving tour can be found by clicking here: https://www.exploregeorgia.org.

This self-guided driving trail includes the Wards Chapel A.M.E. Church where Alice was baptized and attended services, her childhood home, her birthplace, and the birthplace of her mother.

The writer recently returned to Eatonton for her 75th birthday celebration. Read the story here: https://www.msgr.com/article/alice-walker-comes-home.

Read about literary places connected to Zora Neale Hurston here: Zora Neale Hurston in Florida and Zora Neale Hurston in Illinois.

The Alice Walker Drive is the fourth stop on the Georgia Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart