Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker 1965-2000 by Alice Walker and Valerie Boyd

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From National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker and edited by critic and writer Valerie Boyd, comes an unprecedented compilation of Walker’s fifty years of journals drawing an intimate portrait of her development over five decades as an artist, human rights and women’s activist, and intellectual.

For the first time, the edited journals of Alice Walker are gathered together to reflect the complex, passionate, talented, and acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner of The Color Purple. She intimately explores her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African-American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world.

In an unvarnished and singular voice, she explores an astonishing array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, defying laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; writing her first novel; the trials and triumphs of the Women’s Movement; erotic encounters and enduring relationships; the ancestral visits that led her to write The Color Purple; winning the Pulitzer Prize; being admired and maligned, sometimes in equal measure, for her work and her activism; and burying her mother. A powerful blend of Walker’s personal life with political events, this revealing collection offers rare insight into a literary legend.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Those who know Alice Walker’s body of work know that she inspired a generation of Black women writers who continue to impact America’s literary landscape. And didn’t so many of us read Walker to understand how to survive this place, to fight to become whole, to pull self-love to our fleshy, dark selves? And now, to read Walker’s journals—decades of unfiltered musings showing us a complex person with sorrows, triumphs, flaws, and beauties—feels like witnessing a medicine moment, a griotte’s testimony.” —Honorée Fanonne Jeffers,  New York Times bestselling author of The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois 

“Alice Walker contains multitudes. She is a truth-telling, word-working, change-conjuring, culture-shifting, revolutionary artist and citizen of the world. These journals are a revelation, a road map, and a gift to us all.”  —Tayari Jones, New York Times bestselling author of An American Marriage

About the Author

Alice Walker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, is a canonical figure in American letters. She is the author of The Color Purple, The Temple of My Familiar, Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart, Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart, and many other works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Her writings have been translated into more than two dozen languages, and more than fifteen million copies of her books have been sold worldwide. 

Valerie Boyd was the author of the critically acclaimed biography Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, winner of the Southern Book Award and the American Library Association’s Notable Book Award. She was the founder and director of the MFA Program in Narrative Nonfiction and the Charlayne Hunter-Gault professor of journalism at the University of Georgia. She was editor-at-large at the University of Georgia Press and senior consulting editor for The Bitter Southerner.

 

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