Bringing Spirit Into The World with Alice Walker

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Something was lost, says Alice Walker, when we took to heart traditional religious stories in which God is separate from nature. And something precious is regained when we honor our intrinsic sense of awe and worship toward nature, and our deep desire for connection with both nature and our human community. Walker calls for more humane motivation in international as well as personal action, noting the harmful effects of supporting exploitive governments such as China, and of not supporting the positive efforts of Fidel Castro in Cuba. A sobering, sharp-focused perspective on how everyone in the world is connected and affected by all of our choices. (hosted by Michael Toms and Justine Willis Toms.)


Alice Walker is the eighth child of Georgia sharecroppers. After a childhood accident blinded her in one eye, she went on to become valedictorian of her local school, and attend Spelman College and Sarah Lawrence College on scholarships, graduating in 1965. She won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for her novel The Color Purple, which was made in a movie by Steven Spielberg. She is  also the author of three collections of short stories, three collections of essays, five volumes of poetry, and several children's books. Her works are heartful reminders of the strengths of family, community, self-worth, nature, and spirituality.  

Her  novels include:

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • The real nature of human nature
  • A new look at the stories of Adam and Eve, Sarah and Hagar
  • Why religious stories can be dangerous, and food should be free
  • Church life in the deep South
  • The story of one of Walkerís ancestors in slavery
  • A compassionate perspective on Winnie Mandela
  • Fidel Castro as champion of the Cuban people
  • Walkerís correspondence with the White House
  • Prison labor in the U.S. and China
Host: Justine & Michael Toms       Interview Date: 6/2/1997        Program Number: 2638