How I Wrote Jubilee
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Margaret Walker

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Maryemma Graham

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How I Wrote Jubilee

And Other Essays on Life and Literature
Margaret Walker. Edited by Maryemma Graham.

Preface by Maryemma Graham. Introduction by Maryemma Graham.

In this first comprehensive collection of autobiographical and literary essays, Margaret Walker—described by Booklist as “one of the intellectual beacons of her generation”—recounts the search for family and social history from which she wrote her carefully researched novel of the Civil War. The autobiographical essays reflect on her work and her life as an artist, an African American, and a woman, while the literary essays examine the writings of such giants as Richard Wright, W. E. B. DuBois, Phillis Wheatley, and others.

"[Margaret Walker is] one of the intellectual beacons of her generation."


"Margaret Walker is one of the great creators and teachers of literature. This new collection will be required reading for American intellectuals."

—Amiri Baraka, playwright, poet, and critic

"In this collection of personal essays and criticism, Margaret Walker reveals the passion of a poet, the mind of a scholar, and the clarity of a sage."

—Paula Giddings, author of When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America

“This collection of essays and speeches illuminates Walker’s importance to the history of ideas that has been reflected in Black writing in America for half a century and to contemporary developments in literary and social thought. In commenting upon the culture of America and the ideas so central to it—religion, family, racial consciousness, the role of women—these essays serve as a useful introduction to Margaret Walker’s thought. As much as any individual artist, she reflects the fusion of ideas that she inherited from the radical 1930s, tempered by her own cultural and social background, one that was rooted in a strong religious faith and belief in the ultimate human good.”

—Maryemma Graham, from the Introduction

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