writer, poet and activist
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).
Walker has been an activist all of her adult life, and believes that learning to extend the range of our compassion is activity and work available to all. She is a staunch defender not only of human rights, but of the rights of all living beings. She is one of the world’s most prolific writers, yet continues to travel the world to literally stand on the side of the poor, and the economically, spiritually and politically oppressed. She also stands, however, on the side of the revolutionaries, teachers and leaders who seek change and transformation of the world. Upon returning from Gaza in 2008, Walker said, “Going to Gaza was our opportunity to remind the people of Gaza and ourselves that we belong to the same world: the world where grief is not only acknowledged, but shared; where we see injustice and call it by its name; where we see suffering and know the one who stands and sees is also harmed, but not nearly so much as the one who stands and sees and says and does nothing.”