Alice Walker’s wit and wisdom are on full display in Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker, 1965–2000 (23.5 hours). This compilation takes a deep dive into Walker’s private writings, including selected journal entries, poetry and recollections of historical events. Notes from the book’s editor, Valerie Boyd, anchor listeners to Walker’s historical and personal context. These journals bridge the gap between public and private, allowing listeners a close perspective on Walker’s most intimate thoughts on activism, religion, women’s rights, sexuality, writing and myriad other topics.
Walker is candid in her reflections and criticisms, a storyteller through and through, and the audiobook paints a vivid image of her life within the broader turns of history. Read by Aunjanue Ellis, with Janina Edwards voicing the introduction and footnotes, it’s a uniquely mesmerizing listen. Walker concludes the audiobook with her own narration of the postscript, which she wrote in 2021, emphasizing the personal nature of publicizing her journals.
Woven together with her creative expertise, Walker’s stories make for an insightful and intriguing listening experience.