The edited journals of Alice Walker are gathered together for the first time. She intimately explores her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African-American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world. In an unvarnished and singular voice, she explores an array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, defying laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; writing her first novel.
Remarkable for its ambition and radical honesty ... Through reading Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, I was able to discover another voice of Alice Walker: the private self that helps make her public persona and published writings possible ... The scope of the book—encompassing more than 30 years and 560 pages—is sweeping yet still intimate: an artist’s coming-of-age narrative and culmination of her life’s work. Yet, somehow, it’s also much more ... There is a seamlessness to the arc here. Boyd’s editorial hand feels invisible, leaving us to jump from episode to episode, as Walker herself likely experienced or was weighted down by ... Gathering Blossoms shows us Walker at her most vulnerable and unvarnished. Rather than reifying her as an icon, she appears fully human, enabling us to see her not as some elusive literary figure, but as she saw herself, flaws and all ... Some of my favorite sections...might be considered old-fashioned gossip ... It is a testament to the common and the daily—including her struggle with depression and loneliness, as well as to find a space and place to create. And it gives voice to Walker’s lifelong search for peace within herself, for our planet, and with those she loved the most ... Gathering Blossoms Under Fire is a workbook for artists, activists, and intellectuals.
They fully reveal a complex and at times controversial life ... An intimate portrait of the iconic writer, human rights activist, philanthropist and womanist—a term Walker herself coined to describe Black feminists ... Gathering Blossoms Under Fire...contains copious, intimate details about her life. And as with all of Walker’s writings, the stories found in these pages are beautifully told.
Curious readers will find a great deal of information about Walker and her work in Gathering Blossoms Under Fire. The author writes at length about The Color Purple, which, in her handling and under her gaze, emerges as a far more complex novel than it might initially seem ... Gathering Blossoms tells Walker’s own story from the inside out and with no end of personal revelations about matters spiritual, sexual, and political ... What might surprise readers who are familiar with Walker’s work is her restlessness and her ambiguities ... Gathering Blossoms Under Fire might be the book that Walker fans have been waiting for for a long time.