Everyday UseBy Alice Walker
Alice Walker's early story "Everyday Use" has remained a cornerstone of her work. Her use of quilting as a metaphor for the creative legacy that African Americans inherited from their maternal ancestors changed the way we defined art, women's culture, and African American lives. By putting African American women's voices at the center of the narrative for the first time, "Everyday Use" anticipated the focus of an entire generation of black women writers. This casebook includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of Walker's life, authoritative texts of "Everyday Use" and "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens," an interview with Walker, six critical essays, and a bibliography. The contributors are Charlotte Pierce-Baker, Houston A. Baker Jr., Thadious M. Davis, Margot Anne Kelley, John O'Brien, Elaine Showalter, and Mary Helen Washington. Barbara T. Christian is a professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.