Ms. Walker was born to sharecroppers, the youngest of eight children. At age 8, she was blinded in one eye when her brother accidentally shot her with a BB gun.
She later wrote that the disfiguring scar and blindness left her feeling isolated and introspective. She started a journal and began to develop her writing voice.
“I think writing really helps you heal yourself,” Ms. Walker once told The Times. “I think if you write long enough, you will be a healthy person. That is, if you write what you need to write, as opposed to what will make money, or what will make fame.”
-NYTimes Your Morning Briefing