Award-Winning Writers

Who was the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction?

Alice Walker (1944–) was the first black woman writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for a work of fiction, on April 18, 1983. The novel, The Color Purple, was popular but controversial. It also won the American Book Award and established Walker as a major American writer. Her third novel, The Color Purple was made into an Oscar-nominated movie, which intensified discussion among black men and women over her presentation of black men. Walker is also a poet, essayist, and short-fiction writer. The Georgia-born writer was labeled a rebel and forced to leave Spelman College; she graduated from the more liberal Sarah Lawrence College in 1965, and worked in the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi after graduation. An ardent feminist, Walker uses the term “womanist” to describe her work. Her works include The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970), In Search of Our Mother’s Garden: Womanist Prose (1983), Temple of My Familiar (1989), Meridian (1999), The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart (2002), We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For (2006), Hard Times Require Furious Dancing (2011), The Chicken Chronicle (2012), and The Cushion in the Road (2013).


This is a web preview of the "The Handy African American History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App