Cover image for Conversations with Margaret Walker
Title:
Conversations with Margaret Walker
Author:
Walker, Margaret, 1915-1998.
Publication Information:
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xviii, 198 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781578065110

9781578065127
Format :
Book

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PS3545.A517 Z468 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Margaret Walker (1915-1998) began her writing career as a poet in the late 1930s. But she was cast into the limelight in 1966 when her novel Jubilee was published to wide critical and commercial acclaim.

In interviews ranging from 1972 to 1996, Conversations with Margaret Walker captures Walker's voice as she discusses an incredibly wide range of interests. The same erudition, wit, and love of language on display in Jubilee comes through in conversations, as well as her sense of moral authority--imbued by a resonant Christian humanism--and her attention to historical detail.

In a long 1972 conversation with fellow poet Nikki Giovanni, Walker argues about the tribulations and triumphs of motherhood, the presence of black women in literature, and race relations in American culture from 1900 to the present. With Marcia Greenlee in 1977, she talks extensively about her family's history and her love of botany. In several of the interviews, her friendship with Richard Wright rises to the forefront. Even in her interviews with Claudia Tate and John Griffin Jones, in which the interviewers try to direct the conversations toward the mechanics and thought processes behind Walker's writing, the talks often sweep into broader issues of African American culture, family history, and the past's influence on the present.

This collection amply shows that Margaret Walker was a writer who considered her work to be deeply influenced by the culture around her. She viewed her writing as part of her larger life and not separate or distanced from her existence. Bracingly direct, witty, and oddly charming, the writer in Conversations with Margaret Walker is complicated, passionate, forceful, and piercingly intelligent.


Author Notes

Margaret Walker wrote poetry, essays, the novel Jubilee, and the biography Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius. she created pioneering programs in the humanities and African American studies at Jackson State University, where she was a faculty member for almost three decades.

(Bowker Author Biography) Margaret Walker lectures on Renaissance art and reviews books for Burlington Magazine.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Margaret Walker wrote poetry, essays, the novel Jubilee, and the biography Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius. she created pioneering programs in the humanities and African American studies at Jackson State University, where she was a faculty member for almost three decades.

(Bowker Author Biography) Margaret Walker lectures on Renaissance art and reviews books for Burlington Magazine.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Walker, best known for her novel Jubilee, was a literary figure who bridged the Harlem Renaissance and black-nationalist generations. This latest in a series of conversations with authors highlights Walker's love of folklore and the language of southern black folks, a trait she shared with Zora Neale Hurston. The interviews range from 1972 to 1996 and highlight Walker's deep sense of humanity, a Christian humanity that put her at odds, on occasion, with the brash young, race-conscious writers who followed her. An interview with Nikki Giovanni in 1972 recalls the difference in the political sensibilities of the black-nationalist artists and writers of the 1970s and those of the artists and writers of Walker's generation. Many interviews touch on her close relationship with Richard Wright and her friendships with several other black literary luminaries, including James Baldwin, Chester Himes, Ralph Ellison, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Walker expounds on the influences on her writing, her personal trials, her sense of the changes in attitude toward race and sex during her lifetime, and the function of writers in articulating social issues.--Vanessa Bush


Booklist Review

Walker, best known for her novel Jubilee, was a literary figure who bridged the Harlem Renaissance and black-nationalist generations. This latest in a series of conversations with authors highlights Walker's love of folklore and the language of southern black folks, a trait she shared with Zora Neale Hurston. The interviews range from 1972 to 1996 and highlight Walker's deep sense of humanity, a Christian humanity that put her at odds, on occasion, with the brash young, race-conscious writers who followed her. An interview with Nikki Giovanni in 1972 recalls the difference in the political sensibilities of the black-nationalist artists and writers of the 1970s and those of the artists and writers of Walker's generation. Many interviews touch on her close relationship with Richard Wright and her friendships with several other black literary luminaries, including James Baldwin, Chester Himes, Ralph Ellison, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Walker expounds on the influences on her writing, her personal trials, her sense of the changes in attitude toward race and sex during her lifetime, and the function of writers in articulating social issues.--Vanessa Bush


Table of Contents

Nikki GiovanniCharles H. RowellMarcia GreenleeClaudia TateJohn Griffin JonesRuth CampbellLucy M. FreibertJerry W. Ward, Jr.Kay BonettiAlferdteen HarrisonMaryemma GrahamJacqueline Miller CarmichaelDilla BucknerJoanne V. GabbinNikki GiovanniCharles H. RowellMarcia GreenleeClaudia TateJohn Griffin JonesRuth CampbellLucy M. FreibertJerry W. Ward, Jr.Kay BonettiAlferdteen HarrisonMaryemma GrahamJacqueline Miller CarmichaelDilla BucknerJoanne V. Gabbin
Introductionp. vii
Chronologyp. xv
Margaret Walker and Nikki Giovanni: Two Women, Two Viewsp. 3
Poetry, History, and Humanism: An Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 19
Black Women and Oral History: Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 32
Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 59
A Mississippi Writer Talksp. 72
Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 92
Southern Song: An Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 98
A Writer for Her Peoplep. 113
An Interview with Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 125
Looking Back: A Conversation with Margaret Walkerp. 137
The Fusion of Ideas: An Interview with Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 143
Margaret Walker's Reflections and Celebrations: An Interviewp. 153
Spirituality, Sexuality, and Creativity: A Conversation with Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 172
Conversation: Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 176
Indexp. 189
Introductionp. vii
Chronologyp. xv
Margaret Walker and Nikki Giovanni: Two Women, Two Viewsp. 3
Poetry, History, and Humanism: An Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 19
Black Women and Oral History: Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 32
Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 59
A Mississippi Writer Talksp. 72
Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 92
Southern Song: An Interview with Margaret Walkerp. 98
A Writer for Her Peoplep. 113
An Interview with Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 125
Looking Back: A Conversation with Margaret Walkerp. 137
The Fusion of Ideas: An Interview with Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 143
Margaret Walker's Reflections and Celebrations: An Interviewp. 153
Spirituality, Sexuality, and Creativity: A Conversation with Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 172
Conversation: Margaret Walker Alexanderp. 176
Indexp. 189