On this day…
9th February, 1944 – Alice Walker born
Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated writer, poet and activist whose books include seven novels, four collections of short stories, four children’s books, and volumes of essays and poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1983 and the National Book Award.
Walker has written many bestsellers; among them, The Temple of My Familiar (a wisdom tale that originates in prehistory); By The Light of My Father’s Smile ( sexuality and forgiveness as paths of healing); Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), which explores the effects of female genital mutilation on one woman’s psyche as well as her body (she becomes a patient of a fictional Carl Jung). This novel led to the 1993 book and documentary film Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women, both collaborations with British-Indian filmmaker Pratibha Parmar, and We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Inner Light in a Time of Darkness.(Meditations on spiritual and political issues).
Her other novels are: The Third Life of Grange Copeland (one family’s struggle to survive the sharecropping system – slavery under another name – in the South), Meridian (a spiritual biography of The Civil Rights Movement), The Color Purple (liberation from enforced, male dominant, religion and thought; also poses the question never asked by societies in which they occur: what becomes of the children whose parents are lynched/assassinated?) and Now Is the Time To Open Your Heart (a couple on the verge of separating decides to live together, fully in the present, despite awareness of the universal unraveling of societies around the globe).