Walker is known for works like, Once: Poems, "Goodnight, Willie Lee, I'll See You in the Morning"; "You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down", and The Color Purple. Although these works are all different forms such as short stories, novels and poems, they all have one thing in common: her personal experiences or someone close to her.
Walker's style of writing reflects events that happened in her own personal life, as well as in the lives of family members. These experiences are shown in works such as The Color Purple and The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart.
Walker reflects her own personal events throughout her work in many ways; for instance her first book of poetry, Once. She put these poems together acknowledging the hurt of an early pregnancy and abortion, which she considered a social experience shared by others that transcended her individual experience (Winchell 1). This collection of poems started her in the writing business. She wrote these poems during a short, frantic week following a harrowing abortion while at Sarah Lawrence (Davis 2).
Another poem that shows her families experiences in her work is in Revolutionary Petunias. " These poems are about those few embattled souls who remain painfully committed to beauty and to love even while facing the firing squad" (Byerman 4). She was referring to members of her own family when she said " embattled souls." These members included her sister, her uncles and her grandmother,
My grandfather turns his creaking head away from the lavender box.
He does not cry. But looks afraid.
For years he called her "woman";
shortened over the decades to
On the cut stone for "Oman's" grave
he did not notice
they had misspelled her name (Tate 7).
This example shows how she uses experiences from her family members. In the poem above, Walker was writing about the state her grandfather was in while he was attending the funeral of his deceased wife Rachel.
One of her latest works The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart is one of the best examples of her own personal experiences being reflected in her writing. Walton notes that this collection of stories begins as a love letter to her former husband, with whom she raised a daughter, but divorced after ten years together. "She details how the once-vibrant relationship deteriorated into a fragile marriage, damaged by the racial tensions of the time and the slow death of communication." (Howard 8) This is exactly what happened to her relationship with her former husband, who was a white, Jewish civil- rights attorney. So this ties right in with her collection The Way Forward is with a Broken Heart. Walker takes the reader into her personal life filled with things from love to relationships.
Writers from near and far have all agreed that Alice's work is very personal. Robert Allen, staff writer for The Dallas Morning News wrote that Alice Walker's books are intense and very personal. Author Molly Hite, wrote that when Ms. Walker was involved in the Civil Rights movement that she wrote about the Movement in some of her early poetry and short stories. It was Meridian though that she really put her experiences from the Movement in. According to Hite, Walker used her experiences in the Movement and the experience of others of her generation to deal with the social, political, and philosophical issues raised by the Movement.
Walker's work would