Several years ago, I had a conversation with a group of filmakers who angrily debated the merits of "The Color Purple". Chiefly, we all wondered "What did Alice Walker really think of the movie?" Well, she tells us here. In the most dull, pretentious and boring prose I've ever read. Self-serving and rambling journal entries. Tired cliches about what it means to be a black bisexual woman. Overreaching liberal claptrap that is better suited for a late-night college bull session than a serious piece of literature.
Extracted from Bracket vol.2 no.1, 1996 The book emerges as a quilt, not unlike Celie's in The Color Purple that has evidence of both happier times with Celie and Shug and the pain of abuse. This format allows for the co-presentation of both the joyous and painful events which characterised The Color Purple. Photographs, letters, newspapers reviews and three new essays are threaded together by Walker's journal entries. The book is a detailed exploration of the unfolding of the production of the film. In it she judges too the impact of the film on her person as a writer and on her audience. It successfully blends the public and the private cconsequences of the novel. Walker explains her initial and subsequent responses to the film directed by Stephen Spielberg. The roles of both Spielberg and Quincy Jones as artists are centred as Walker conceded that the film and novel could not have been the same. The screenplay that was never used resides side by side with the reponses Walker has encountered since the release of the film. Juxtaposed with the laudatory letters of support for the novel and film, are antagonistic articles on both versions of The Color Purple. The hostility generated from certain quarters of the Black community is explored in detail. Manifestations of this enmity range from a dismissive article written by a reporter who had not seen the film, to accusations that Walker hated Black men. The film facilitates a process of personal growth for Walker and she is ultimately able to say, "Now I see its flaws, but love it for its own sake, and love the people, too, who made it and made it from where they are."(214) The book then is remarkable and accessible to Walker devotees both inside and outside academic research fields. It is a combined presentation of several areas that Walker is renowned for - her creative writing, intellectual and spiritual sensitivity and her ability to combine the "high and low culture" of art in academia. Honoring the Difficult is once again an affirmation of herself as "author and medium".