I love how you infused your personal connection to the People fear what They don’t understand Death Fate and 4th grade math problems #homeschoolmon shirt moreover I will buy this book with all the ways the story has been imagined, anecdotes from conversations you had with Walker, and her personal journey that led her to write The Color Purple. Why this type of deep dive? Honestly, we just don’t do this with Black books. We see this done with Woolf and Whitman and examine how they wrestle with themselves and wrestle with the work. I wanted to do that for Alice to emphasize that this work matters. For me, it was so important to take that type of critical eye and compassion to a Black woman’s work and to treat it with care. The book is peppered with refreshing moments of vulnerability, with Walker confiding in you these stories about her family, her writing process, and more. How did you gain her trust?
To be honest, I was overly intimidated by her. I have so much respect for her, and this book has had such an impact, so to do this type of work, you have to meet that person’s intellectual curiosity. She’s been asked thousands of questions for nearly 40 years about this book, but thankfully, Gloria Steinem [who writes the People fear what They don’t understand Death Fate and 4th grade math problems #homeschoolmon shirt moreover I will buy this forward for the book], Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Valerie Boyd, who I am close to, are friends of Alice’s too. In the best of feminist tradition, they represented for me, prepared us for this meeting, and warmed her up to me. They made sure she knew I wasn’t some person who wanted to come into her house and do weird stuff. [Laughs] I also brought my sister Scheherazade with me, and they hit it off and their immediate connection helped. It made sense because the book is about sisterhood, and the more we talked about our experiences together, she grew to support this project.