Alice Walker is a beloved poet, writer, and activist who rose to international fame in the early 1980s, Alice Walker’s Garden reports. The Eatonton, Georgia native has numerous bestselling novels, but she is most recognized for her 1982 novel The Color Purple. The work earned her a Pulitzer Prize, making her the first Black woman to win a Pulitzer for Fiction. It also earned her a National Book Award and has since been remade into a film and Broadway musical.
Walker is best known for her hard-hitting topics, which span the gamut of human life. She has written stories about love, abuse, religion, liberation, and everything in between. Walker’s work has been translated into more than two dozen languages, and she has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. In honor of this literary titan’s birthday, here are 6 must-see interviews with Alice Walker that will change your life:
1993 - Alice Walker on the subject of female genital mutilation
Alice Walker speaks about her novel Possessing the Secret of Joy, which explores the subject of female genital mutilation globally and how the way we treat women and children is indicative of the health of our society.
2003 - Alice Walker at Barnard College
This keynote speech was delivered by Walker at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women. She recalls the importance of Zora Neale Hurston and how discovering other writers like Hurston helped empower her to write.
2010 - Alice Walker Talks at Google
Walker reads from her book of poetry, Hard Times Require Furious Dancing, a collection of poems she wrote during times of struggle, loss, and sadness. She explores writing as an important literary tool and various nuances in writing during today’s times.
2013 - Alice Walker on the ‘Beauty In Truth’ documentary
Alice Walker speaks at the Women of the World Festival at the Southbank Centre in March 2013 in London. Walker debuted her feature documentary film entitled, Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, directed by Pratibha Parmar about the life and art of Walker.
2017 - Taking the Arrow Out of Your Heart with Alice Walker
Walker speaks at Stanford University, proclaiming suffering as the great equalizer in life. She shares the importance of cultivating resilience, why the world needs art, and how to grieve mindfully.
2020 - An Evening with Alice Walker - Writer's Symposium by the Sea at the University of California
Alice Walker speaks about why she chooses to write about things people consider taboo and how her work is inspired by her own sorrow and suffering. Walker says she feels it's her obligation to do the work others consider tough, emphasizing her own freedom, writing as healing, and doing what she feels is right no matter the consequence.
Thank you for everything! Happy Birthday Ms. Walker!
6 must-see interviews with Alice Walker that will change your life. Photo Courtesy of Dana Nalbandian/WireImage