Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1982, grew up the daughter of sharecroppers. Ashamed of her looks due to an eye injury at the age of eight, she retreated into the solitary world of writing.
“For a long time, I thought I was very ugly and disfigured,” Walker said in an interview published in Alice Walker: Critical Perspectives, Past and Present.
That early incident, however, also triggered Walker’s life path.
A social worker and activist in the Civil Rights Movement, throughout her lifetime, Walker chronicled her experiences as a black woman on the last rung of the patriarchal ladder. Her work gave a voice to poverty, race and bias.
James Hillman, psychologist and author of The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling, believes our life stories set us up with the perfect context—in family life, early experiences and predispositions—to enable our unique gifts to emerge.
So it appears to have been in Walker’s life.
And so it is with our own.