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 define 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, an authoritative text of "Everyday Use" and of "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.