Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, The Journals of Alice Walker | Edited by Valerie Boyd

Update 2023-04 : New photo by Vashchelle Andre of Alice and Ede

Book Cover: Gathering Blossoms Under Fire by Alice Walker


Alice Walker encourages you to purchase her books from locally owned bookstores. (Map of independent bookstores)

About The Book

From National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker and edited by critic and writer Valerie Boyd, comes an unprecedented compilation of Walker’s fifty years of journals drawing an intimate portrait of her development over five decades as an artist, human rights and women’s activist, and intellectual.

For the first time, the edited journals of Alice Walker are gathered together to reflect the complex, passionate, talented, and acclaimed Pulitzer Prize winner of The Color Purple. She intimately explores her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African-American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world.

In an unvarnished and singular voice, she explores an astonishing array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, defying laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; writing her first novel; the trials and triumphs of the Women’s Movement; erotic encounters and enduring relationships; the ancestral visits that led her to write The Color Purple; winning the Pulitzer Prize; being admired and maligned, sometimes in equal measure, for her work and her activism; and burying her mother. A powerful blend of Walker’s personal life with political events, this revealing collection offers rare insight into a literary legend.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 12, 2022)
  • Length: 560 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476773155

Raves and Reviews

“Those who know Alice Walker’s body of work know that she inspired a generation of Black women writers who continue to impact America’s literary landscape. And didn’t so many of us read Walker to understand how to survive this place, to fight to become whole, to pull self-love to our fleshy, dark selves? And now, to read Walker’s journals—decades of unfiltered musings showing us a complex person with sorrows, triumphs, flaws, and beauties—feels like witnessing a medicine moment, a griotte’s testimony.” —Honorée Fanonne Jeffers,  New York Times bestselling author of The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois 

“Alice Walker contains multitudes. She is a truth-telling, word-working, change-conjuring, culture-shifting, revolutionary artist and citizen of the world. These journals are a revelation, a road map, and a gift to us all.”  —Tayari Jones, New York Times bestselling author of An American Marriage

Book Information Source: Simon and Schuster

Gayle King, CBS Morning – Alice Walker on new book and 40 years of “The Color Purple”

“Alice Walker opens up about her legacy in her new book, Gathering Blossoms Under Fire”, Interview with Gayle King, CBS Mornings.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker joins “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King to discuss her new book “Gathering Blossoms Under Fire.” The book includes five decades of Walker’s intimate journals discussing life, love and her rise to stardom after “The Color Purple.” April 12, 2022

[program begins at 45 seconds mark]

News articles about Alice Walker and her new book, Gathering Blossoms Under Fire Journals The Journals of Alice Walker | Edited by Valerie Boyd


Oprah Daily Article  –  Alice Walker’s Journals Have Been Collected in Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, article by Salamishah Tillet, author of “In Search of The Color Purple,” considers the iconic writer’s creative journey. By Salamishah Tillet,
Published April 13, 2022


KALW Article  – Alice Walker shares five decades of personal journals in ‘Gathering Blossoms Under Fire’,  By Jeneé Darden
Published April 13, 2022 at 5:00 PM PDT


Grady College Article
“Gathering Blossoms Under Fire,” edited by Valerie Boyd, is published.

“Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker,” a book edited by Valerie Boyd, was a 10-year labor of love. Walker and Boyd discussed this project, among other topics, during a public conversation at the Morton Theatre on Oct. 15, 2015. (Photo: UGA Marketing and Communication)


The Atlantic Journal-Constitution Article – Atlanta Living & ArtsGathering Blossoms Under Fire’ an intimate account of Alice Walker’s creative life, By , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AJC Podcast: A conversation with Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker

“Gathering Blossoms Under Fire,” a 500-page digest of novelist Alice Walker’s edited journals, is set to be published April 12. It was edited by author, college professor and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Valerie Boyd, whose 2004 biography of Zora Neale Hurston, “Wrapped in Rainbows,” earned Walker’s admiration and trust. They worked together for years. Then two months before Walker’s journals were set to be published, Boyd died of pancreatic cancer, a disease she had been quietly fighting since 2018. For this week’s podcast, Bo Emerson recently spoke with the Pulitzer Prize winning author about the journals and about working with Boyd. Find out more at and at the Apple Podcast store.

More News about Alice and Gathering Blossoms Under Fire

Update: 2023-04 added new intro photograph by Vashchelle Andre

Alice Walker and her EdeAlice Walker with small dog Ede 2023 sitting on her lap