The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker


Published to stellar praise, The World Has Changed boasts revelatory conversations between Walker and other literary and cultural icons—including Howard Zinn, Pema Chödrön, Claudia Tate, Margo Jefferson, William R. Ferris, and Paula Giddings—and illuminates the heart and mind of one of the world’s most celebrated living writers. Carefully framed and contextualized through an introduction by literary scholar Rudolph P. Byrd, the book also includes a thorough chronology of ...
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The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker

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Published to stellar praise, The World Has Changed boasts revelatory conversations between Walker and other literary and cultural icons—including Howard Zinn, Pema Chödrön, Claudia Tate, Margo Jefferson, William R. Ferris, and Paula Giddings—and illuminates the heart and mind of one of the world’s most celebrated living writers. Carefully framed and contextualized through an introduction by literary scholar Rudolph P. Byrd, the book also includes a thorough chronology of Walker’s life and work.

The World Has Changed is a delightful addition to the Alice Walker canon that will thrill and engage readers for years to come.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Walker's social activism emerges as a major current in her life and writings as she discusses her roots, worldview, and artistic development in these penetrating and revealing interviews. As the youngest child among eight, Walker grew up in rural Georgia, picking cotton with her family. From these modest beginnings, she has emerged as one of America's best-known writers, partly owing to the success of her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple, adapted for film by Steven Spielberg in 1985, and recently a Broadway musical. These discussions with such commentators as Howard Zinn, Amy Goodman, and Margo Jefferson highlight Walker's activism, which includes civil rights in this country, fighting female genital mutilation in Africa, resisting tyranny worldwide, and being a force for world peace. In one notable conversation, Walker and Buddhist writer Pema Chodron discuss working with negative energy and alleviating suffering in the world. VERDICT An important addition to the Walker canon, this book will interest not only her fans but serious readers generally.—Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo
From the Publisher

Read as separate pieces, these conversations offer vivid glimpses of Walker’s energetic personality. Taken together, they offer a sense of her marvelous engagement with her world.
Kirkus Reviews

Reveals her humor, compassion and commitment to social change.
Ms. Magazine

Walker fans will appreciate this fascinating look at the writer and personality.

[A]n exceptionally unusual biography . . . a gentle testament to interviewing and rich conversation.
Detroit Metro Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595584960
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alice Walker is one of the most prolific writers of our time, known for her literary fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple, her many volumes of poetry, and her powerful nonfiction collections. Her advocacy for the dispossessed has spanned the globe. She lives in Northern California.

Rudolph P. Byrd is a professor of American studies and the founding director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute at Emory College.


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

Alice Walker: Interview with John O’Brien from Interviews With Black Writers (1973) [on her early writing career and inspirations]

Alice Walker: Interview with Claudia Tate from Black Women Writers At Work (1983) [on being part of the emerging coterie of black women writers in the 1970s – with Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, etc.]

Alice Walker: “Moving Towards Coexistence,” Interview with Ellen Bring from The Animal’s Agenda (1988) [on her animal rights activism and its importance to her world view and writing]

Alice Walker: “Writing to Save My Life,” Interview with Claudia Dreifus from The Progressive (1989) [on politics and fiction writing]

Alice Walker’s Appeal: An Interview with Paula Giddings from Essence (1992)

Alice Walker, Jean Shinoda Bolen and Isabel Allende, “Giving Birth, Finding Form: Where Our Books Come From,” from Creative Conversations Series (1993) [on the feminist inspirations for her writing]

Alice Walker with Jody Hoy, “The Richness of Ordinary Stuff,” (1994) [on her personal philosophy]

Alice Walker: “My Life As Myself,” A Conversation with Tammy Simon from Sounds True Recordings (1995)

Alice Walker: “The World Is Made of Stories,” A Conversation with Justine Toms and Michael Toms from New Dimensions Tapes (1996)

Alice Walker: “On Finding Your Bliss,” Interview by Evelyn White from Ms. (1998)

Alice Walker and Pema Chodron In Conversation: “On the Meaning of Suffering and the Mystery of Joy” from Sounds True (1998) [on the importance of Buddhisim to her work and writing]

Alice Walker: “I know what the earth says,” Interview with William R. Ferris from Southern Cultures (2004) [on being a black female writer from the South]

Alice Walker and Margo Jefferson: A Conversation from LIVE FROM THE NYPL (2005) [on her success with the Color Purple, being a celebrity]

Alice Walker: Outlaw, Renegade, Rebel, Pagan by Amy Goodman from Democracy Now (March 2006)[on her politics and activism]

Alice Walker on Fidel Castro with George Galloway from The Fidel Castro Handbook (November 2006) [on why she supports Castro]

Conversation with Alice Walker by Marrianne Schnall from (December 2006)

Conversation with Howard Zinn at City Lights Bookstore [date?] [on her Mississippi years, experiences with Zinn as a student, role of the civil rights movement in her work]

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  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A true gift to fans of Alice Walker

    "Reading comes in layers: there's the reading one does to understand the current crisis, whatever it is; the reading for pleasure; the reading for the soul." Alice Walker

    This book was a gift to my soul. I will treasure every lesson, hug, forehead kiss, nudge and outright push toward myself at a time when everything felt chaotic. The words and thoughts and serenity of Ms. Walker is something that I will cherish for a lifetime. Somehow, along the way, this book became my journal and houses all of my notes, tears, thoughts, ideas, and revelations that were sparked by these strings of words. This is a book that I will treasure always. I look forward to reading it again in a year, to see where I am and how this book will impact me again. What a wonderful, wonderful treasure.

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