STARRED REVIEW
August 2022

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire

By Alice Walker, narrated by Aunjanue Ellis & Janina Edwards, edited by Valerie Boyd
Review by
Narrated by Aunjanue Ellis and Janina Edwards, Gathering Blossoms Under Fire makes for an insightful and intriguing audiobook. The best part: Alice Walker reads the postscript, emphasizing the personal nature of publicizing her journals.
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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.

Read our starred review of the print edition of Gathering Blossoms Under Fire.

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Gathering Blossoms Under Fire

Gathering Blossoms Under Fire

By Alice Walker, narrated by Aunjanue Ellis & Janina Edwards, edited by Valerie Boyd
Simon & Schuster Audio
ISBN 9781797118628

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