the position of black people in US society; the damage men do to women; the sustaining bonds between women; the power of memory and the impact of the past on the present; the corruption of innocence; redemption.
won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
's eleven novels give her a place as one of the major American novelists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her books of non-fiction—speeches and essays on social and literary topics— give her an equally high place among American thinkers. She showed her versatility in less predictable genres: songs, theatrical works, and children's works in collaboration with her son Slade. Her themes have been summarized as