Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Margaret Abigail Walker  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1915 in Birmingham, Alabama

-- Margaret Abigail Walker on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

In 1935, Walker received her Bachelors of Arts Degree from Northwestern University. She spent her last years back in Chicago and died of breast cancer in 1998.

Biographical and Professional Information

Margaret's literature generally contained African American themes. Among her more popular works was her poem ''For My People'', which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition and her 1966 novel ''Jubilee'', which received critical acclaim. She joined the Federal Writers' Project with Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks and taught English at Jackson State University from 1946 to 1979.In 1988 she sued Alex Haley, claiming his novel ''Roots: The Saga of an American Family'' had violated on Jubilee's copyright. The case was dismissed.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


Bantam Books. 1966

Jubilee by Margaret Walker. A Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award Novel. Bantam mass-market paperback, product cod Q8171. Copyright © 1966 by Margaret Walker Alexander. This edition is the 23rd printing, 1972. xiii + 415 pages. Map. Historical Fiction.

How I Wrote Jubilee: And Other Essays on Life and Literature
ISBN: 1558610049

The Feminist Press at CUNY. 1993

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.