When told she was too young to be a socialist, Anna Strunsky Walling claimed that she’d been born with her passion for socialism as much as she’d been born with her talent for writing. Walling’s family immigrated to America in 1893 and moved to San Francisco when Anna was fourteen. A year later, she joined the Socialist Labor Party. She met the writer Jack London while at Stanford, graduated in 1900, and in 1903 wrote a novel, The Kempton-Wace Letters, with him on the nature of love. She went on to write Windlestraws and Violette of Père Lachaise, which was published in 1915. In 1905 she helped create Friends of Russian Freedom in San Francisco and travelled to Russia, where she met William English Walling, a fellow socialist. The pair married in 1906 with Karl Marx’s grandson as a witness. Despite raising four children and helping co-found the NAACP together, the Wallings separated over political differences in 1932 and William died in 1936. Anna Walling remained active in Quaker, pacifist, and socialist organizations while writing a memorial volume on her husband (based on personal and political correspondence she had saved) and memoirs about her years with Jack London.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Anna Strunsky Walling." (Viewed on September 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/walling-anna>.