November 5th, 2014


Alice Walker is wonderful and technology sucks (she says, on the Internet, on her laptop)

Guess who got to hear Alice Walker speak today.


If you read my post about how her short story, "The Flowers," is the best thing ever written and how formative it's been with respect to my own writing, then you get me right now. We lined up outside the auditorium over an hour before the program began--please imagine a concert hall's worth of academics standing outside, waiting for Alice Walker--and I swear we'd given three standing ovations before she even finished her talk. <333

The tenor and topics reminded me a lot of church, except a lot less Buddhist. (And I don't mean that she was speaking in a particularly Christian way, either--very spiritual humanist.)

She opened by speaking about her interactions with Zora Neale Hurston's ghost, went onto speak about Zora's relationship, and her own relationship, with Langston Hughes, and also Helsinki, and the Soviet Union, and Hawai'i, and Palestine, and US international affairs fail, and Fukushima, and American VA fail, and all manner of other things. But she has such an elegant timbre, and she's poetic, but also so very down to earth. She confessed her adoration of Mad Men, recommended a book on Audible, didn't answer flowery "literati" Q&As with the flowery literature answers they were meant to provoke, and was just so lovely.

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