The Free Library of Philadelphia, located at 1901 Vine St., is continuing its award-winning tradition with a new series of author lectures. The 2004 “Free Library of Philadelphia Lectures” will highlight writers in politics, fiction, religion and psychiatry.
In its 11th year of success, the lecture series is designed for everybody with an interest.
“We usually choose our authors based on what books are coming out and talks with different publishers,” said Sara Goddard, Assistant Program Director. One of the featured writers is Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple.”
Alice Walker, who has climbed the ranks of the most respected authors, is notable as a moving force within African American writing. Her depiction of otherwise sensitive topics has had a resounding influence on 20th century literature.
Walker was the eighth child born to a Georgia sharecropper. When a childhood injury left her blind in one eye, Walker focused her attention on books. A young prodigy, Walker wrote her first book while in college.
In 1982, Walker achieved fame and acclaim with the publication of “The Color Purple.” The novel, addressing topics like incest, rape, domestic violence and devotion, was credited as Walker’s best work. A year after publication, Walker received the Pulitzer Prize and her first American Book Award. Steven Spielberg turned the novel into a feature film in 1983.
Since her first novel, “The Third Life of Grange Copeland,” Walker has attacked issues of sexual and racial relations within the black community. She has often been criticized for her sharp attack on black males. But she continues to shed light on issues that have been taken for granted.
From the days of protests during the Civil War to her current fight against female genital mutilation in Africa, Walker remains a moving force working to change the world.
“The authors usually begin with an hour lecture that covers everything from their latest book to what they write about, why they write about it and how they go about writing about it,” Goddard said.
Alice Walker’s Jan. 11 lecture will begin at 8 p.m. Individual tickets are $12, with student tickets available for $8. Simulcast tickets, available after auditorium tickets are sold out, are $6. All programs are held in the Montgomery Auditorium. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.
For more information on upcoming guest lecturers, visit the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Web site at www.library.phila.gov.
Pooja Shah can be reached at email@example.com.