Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker

Author Margaret Walker (1915–1998) has been described as “the most famous person nobody knows.” It is a shocking misperception of a woman who was an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist, educator, and activist as well as friend and mentor to many of our most prominent twentieth-century African American writers.

Song of My Life by Carolyn J. Brown intends to reintroduce Margaret Walker to readers by telling her life story—a story that many can relate to as she overcame familiar obstacles related to race, gender, and poverty. Walker's journey to become a nationally known writer and educator is an incredible story of hard work and perseverance.

Song of My Life opens with her family and those who inspired her—her parents, her grandmother, her most important teachers and mentors—all significant influences on her reading and writing life. The chapters that follow trace her path over the course of the twentieth century as she travels to Chicago and becomes a member of the South Side Writers’ Group with Richard Wright, then to be accepted into the newly created Masters of Fine Arts Program at the University of Iowa, and then back to the South as she pursues her dream of becoming a writer and college educator as well as wife and mother. 
A review in Sunday’s Clarion Ledger by Robert Luckett said the book serves to reveal “this incredible woman's academic, artistic, and activist legacy.” Luckett, who is the Director of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University goes on to say:
“With excellent photographs and an unbelievable narrative, Carolyn Brown gives us the first comprehensive examination of Margaret Walker's life and career, and Brown's efforts have resulted in an accessible and compelling story that should inspire readers of all ages. Hopefully, this book will help to lift Walker into the pantheon of great Mississippi and American writers, where she belongs.”

Readers can meet author Carolyn Brown tomorrow, Wednesday, November 5. Brown will be signing and talking about her new book at Lemuria Books in Jackson. Refreshments will be provided the Bookfriends of the University Press of Mississippi.
Carolyn J. Brown is a writer, editor, and independent scholar. She is the author of A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty (University Press of Mississippi) and has taught at Elon University, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and Millsaps College.