Alice Walker Biography | Author of Everyday Use

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Walker's short story "Everyday Use" contains several important parallels to the author's own life.

Born in 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker grew up in an environment much like that described in the story. Her parents were both sharecroppers, her family lived in a rundown shack, and racial segregation was legally enforced, prompting the author to describe the times as America's own era of apartheid. Like Maggie Johnson, Walker was disfigured as a child. A gunshot wound left her blind in one eye; she became shy and withdrew into her own world of reading and writing. Like Dee Johnson, Walker's abilities garnered her a scholarship to Spelman College, which led her away from her poverty-stricken background to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1961. These were especially turbulent times for African Americans, and Walker soon became involved in efforts to improve conditions for blacks. In 1964, she travelled to Uganda as an exchange student. She...

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This section contains 338 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Everyday Use Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Everyday Use from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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