Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker

Paul Olsewski
VP, Publicity Director
For rights Information:
Lisa Keim
212-698- 7397



Alice Walker Valerie Boyd 2013

(NEW YORK) – October 7, 2013.  Dawn Davis, Publisher and Vice President of 37 INK/ Atria Publishing Group, has acquired the journals of prize winning author, poet and activist Alice Walker.  Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, will be curated and edited by Valerie Boyd, the critically-acclaimed biographer of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston, and is expected to go on sale in 2017.  Walker is best known for The Color Purple, the 1983 novel for which she won the Pulitzer Prize—the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction—and the National Book Award.


On her epic journey from a sharecropper’s shack in rural Georgia to becoming a cultural icon, the celebrated poet/writer Alice Walker has been a faithful diarist, chronicling her sprawling, complex life in more than 65 journals and notebooks spanning some 50 years.  Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker will be a book of lasting significance—tracing her development as an artist, human rights activist and intellectual as well as her more intimate thoughts and feelings about being a woman, a writer, an African-American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister and citizen of the world.  The personal and the political are layered and intertwined in the revealing and poetic narrative that emerges from Walker’s journals. 


“I can’t help feeling the imprint of ancestors on the happy occurrence that Valerie Boyd, who wrote the extraordinary Wrapped in Rainbows, a biography of Zora Neale Hurston, has emerged to stand beside me as I tackle the work of transcribing and publishing Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, my journals of over fifty years.  We anticipate a satisfying and joyful collaboration, joined as we are by the well respected and much celebrated publisher, Dawn Davis, of 37 INK.  Three women of color standing together to offer what we hope will be a work of imaginative stimulation, amusement, support, and general usefulness to a beloved community of readers in a severely troubled and perplexing world.  Courage is the fundamental offering of these journals.  Patience with the critical inner and outer voice is next. Love of growth and truth rounds out the trio,” says Walker.


“Gathering Blossoms Under Fire will be read, studied, and interpreted for years to come and will further extend Walker’s already far-reaching and multigenerational influence.  It will provide invaluable insight into what Alice Walker was thinking and experiencing as she created the books, novels, and poems that always moved and often startled the world, ” says Davis.


“I am delighted to work with Alice Walker on curating and editing her journals. Her work and her life have deeply influenced my consciousness as a black woman–and as a citizen of the world–so this opportunity is a gift and an honor. I’m looking forward to an amazing journey,” says  Boyd.


The deal, for North American rights, was negotiated by Joy Harris at the Joy Harris Literary Agency, Inc. who represents Walker and Boyd.

37 INK is an imprint of the Atria Publishing Group and Simon & Schuster, Inc., a part of CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information about Atria, visit our website at