Gathering Blossoms Under Fire comprises a selection of entries from the journals of Alice Walker, spanning a life’s journey and memories of one of the most important writers of the 20th century’s latter half. Her talent as a novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist are demonstrated here in an intimate portrayal of her sometimes-complex story – one underlined by her interest in human rights as an African-American, participating in the Black freedom struggle, and as an artist and intellectual.
Walker’s private life, including her marriage to a Jewish lawyer and the birth of her child, are all fraught with challenges that she faces. Gathering Blossoms’ opening poem, When Love Is Unfashionable, is a beautiful reflection of her emotions and thoughts. The book spans four decades, beginning in the 1960s when she was scarcely out of her teens and concluding in the early part of this century. The journey that led her to write her definitive work, the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple, is chronicled.
Her achievements, talents and success as a writer are interjected with sensitive moments, so typical of a diary kept over the years. Alice Walker had always kept journals and notebooks, and the results are found in this volume, sharing her story.
Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals Of Alice Walker 1965-2000, ed. Valerie Boyd (Simon & Schuster)
Price: £25. Info: here
words EMILY EDWARDS
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