'The passion of lyricism that Alice Walker put to such good use in her novel The Color Purple is here in this collection of essays'
Fay Weldon, Mail on Sunday
In a world where cynicism and political apathy is commonplace, it is refreshing and inspiring to read the words of Alice Walker. For she believes that the things we treasure, and the world we live in, can all be saved if only we will act. Beginning with an autobiographical essay about the roots of her own activism, Alice Walker then goes on to explore diverse public issues such as single parenthood, freedom of the press, civil rights and religion.
Walker's commitment to activism--in its myriad cultural, political and spiritual forms--shines forth convincingly in this wide-ranging collection of personal essays, remarks, letters, speeches and statements, many previously published. Tracing her advocacy to an ancestor, May Poole--a former slave who outlived most of her owners and died at the age of 125--Walker channels her own "love of nature and... delight in human beings" into thoughtfully selected and well-defended causes. The most affecting pieces celebrate her spirituality, influenced by her early experiences with family and the local church; the challenge of raising her daughter, Rebecca, now a young adult; and the graduating seniors Walker lovingly addressed with 16 poems of encouragement at a recent Spelman College commencement. Her well-documented indignation over the controversial practice of female genital mutilation appears here, as well as her less-publicized but unmistakably passionate support of Fidel Castro. Walker's varied subjects include a visit to Carl Jung's Swiss retreat, the Million Man March, dreadlocks and the craft of writing. She honors various authors and artists, including Zora Neale Hurston, Salman Rushdie and the musical group Sweet Honey in the Rock. Constantly testing and stretching her readers' imaginations and boundaries, Walker expresses her warmth, her anger, her optimism in this provocative, lively collection. Author tour.