“Fame Exhausts Me”
In The Guardian, Aida Edemariam interviewed Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple.
In her first memoir, Black, White and Jewish (2000), her daughter Rebecca remembers how “Daddy sits in sometimes with the rifle and the dog waiting for the Klan to come”; in The Same River Twice (1996), Alice writes of her own mother’s first encounter with her son-in-law. “Screwing up her face in a concentrated mental attempt to locate some familiar place from whence he might have come, and expressing her compassion at the same time that she discovered that place, she said, even smiling a little: ‘You’re one of the ones that killed Jesus Christ.'”
After publication of The Color Purple, she was accused of betraying her race, of hating black men, of damaging black male and female relationships, of being a lesbian. The novel, which also brought her much acclaim, was certainly double-edged in the way that it has affected her life.