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life events

  • Meena Alexander was born in Allahabad in India in 1951 to a family of Syrian Christians.
  • As a very young child she moved back and forth between Allahabad in the North and Kerala on the South west coast, where her parents came from.
  • When she was five, her father started to work in Sudan and she travelled by boat, with her mother, to join him.
  • As a girl in India, Alexander was often expected to conform to traditional ways. In the Sudan she received an English education, and went on to study English at Khartoum University aged only thirteen. There she wrote her first poems in English which were translated into Arabic and published in a local newspaper.
  • At eighteen she travelled to England to study for a PhD and then returned to India to teach at universities.
  • She began to write and publish her poetry. She met and fell in love with an American and within three weeks of meeting they decided to marry.
  • In 1979 she moved once again, this time to live and work in the United States with her husband.
  • She's now a Professor, living in Manhattan and has two children. She's continued to write poetry and prose and was only forty two when she wrote Fault Lines, her autobiography, in which she traces her growth as a writer and a woman.

life events
key influences and themes
Alexander's work
the next chapter
being a woman writer
  Women Writers
  Ama Ata Aidoo
  Meena Alexander
  Maya Angelou
  Shashi Deshpande
  Margaret Drabble
  Buchi Emecheta
  Jamaica Kincaid
  Doris Lessing
  Bharati Mukherjee
  Michele Roberts
  Helen Simpson

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