Alice Walker Banned

Overview

Introduction by Patricia Holt

Throughout her distinguished career, Alice Walker's work has been at the center of controversies around language, censorship, truth and art. Alice Walker Banned explores just what it is that various groups have found so threatening in Walker's work, bringing together the short stories "Roselily" and "Am I Blue?," an excerpt from the novel The Color Purple, as well as testimonies, letters, and essays about attempts to censor Walker's work by the ...

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Overview

Introduction by Patricia Holt

Throughout her distinguished career, Alice Walker's work has been at the center of controversies around language, censorship, truth and art. Alice Walker Banned explores just what it is that various groups have found so threatening in Walker's work, bringing together the short stories "Roselily" and "Am I Blue?," an excerpt from the novel The Color Purple, as well as testimonies, letters, and essays about attempts to censor Walker's work by the California State Board of Education. The introduction by San Francisco Chronicle Book Review editor Patricia Holt offers insightful and ironic commentary on the efforts of the Traditional Values Coalition to pressure the State Board of Education into withdrawing Walker's stories from a statewide exam, while excerpts from a Board of Education hearing offer views from across the political spectrum on these efforts to censor Walker's work.

…a fascinating, frightening book…

—Mirabella

…an invaluable contribution to the literature of censorship…

—Booklist

…this book will allow a cooler, more informed discussion of an important debate.

—Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In response to outrage from Christian conservatives, the California State Board of Education (BOE) removed in 1994 two short stories by Alice Walker from its California Learning Assessment System (CLAS) exam, which was adopted to allow children of all backgrounds a "level playing field." One of the stories, "Roselily," an interior monolog of a poor, Mississippi girl (an unwed mother) as she is being married and taken away to Chicago like chattel, was deemed "anti-religious." The other story, "Am I Blue?," is an allegory of slavery told by a narrator observing the treatment of a horse; the story's ending holds emotional associations of eating animal products with cruelty and was thus marked "anti-meat-eating." Here, in time for Banned Books Week, the two stories are reprinted in full, along with an excerpt from Walker's other much-censored book, The Color Purple. With an introduction by Patricia Holt delineating the controversy and appendixes of newspaper articles, letters, and minutes of the BOE meeting, this book will allow a cooler, more informed discussion of an important debate.Amy Boaz, "Library Journal"
Donna Seaman
Walker has paid dearly for her creativity and forthrightness about her belief in personal freedom on all fronts, from sexuality to spirituality. In her poignant memoir, "The Same River Twice" , Walker tracks the course of many of the controversies that have surrounded her work, especially "The Color Purple". Now this striking volume offers a detailed account of the effort to censor two of her most engrossing stories, "Roselily" and "Am I Blue." In her appropriately ironic and critical introduction, Patricia Holt of the "San Francisco Chronicle Book Review" traces the comic yet tragic series of events that led to these stories being removed from a 1994 statewide examination by the California Board of Education, one for being "anti-religious," the other because it was "anti-meat-eating." Holt's fine essay and the stories themselves are followed by appendixes containing news clippings covering the various debates aroused by Walker's prizewinning fiction, making this an invaluable contribution to the literature of censorship.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781879960473
  • Publisher: Aunt Lute Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,445,982
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Walker, winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for The Color Purple, has earned international recognition. She is the author of several novels, includeing Possessing the Secret of Joy, Temple of My Familiar, Meridian, The Color Purple, and The Third Life of Grange Copeland. The recipient of many awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Rosenthal award for fiction fromm the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Biography

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for her novel The Color Purple, which was preceded by The Third Life of Grange Copeland and Meridian. Her other bestselling novels include By the Light of My Father's Smile, Possessing the Secret of Joy and The Temple of My Familiar. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, three collections of essays, five volumes of poetry and several children's books. Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Born in Eatonton, Georgia, Walker now lives in Northern California.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Alice Malsenior Walker (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Mendocino, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 9, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Eatonton, Georgia
    1. Education:
      B.A., Sarah Lawrence College, 1965; attended Spelman College, 1961-63

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
"Roselily" 19
"Am I Blue?" 31
The Color Purple, an excerpt 45
Appendices 67
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